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(EAW Logo plays…)

(Scene fades into a childhood bedroom. One fit for a teenage girl. On the walls, there are posters of bands such as Alice in Chains, Deftones and Hole (specifically, Courtney Love). There are wrestling posters consisting of of her biggest influences such as Mr. DEDEDE, Y2Impact, Diamond Cage, The Heart Break Gal and Cameron Ella Ava.)

(A door is heard turning open. A petite and brunette woman walks into the scene. Her face cannot be seen as she is seen is looking at pictures of Brody–or Meghan–as she knew her by. Some of them as children playing and being innocent children. Others of Brody graduating from High School, cosmetology school and excelling in sports like gymnastics, cheerleading, swim and drama.)

(The woman looks over to a photo with her and Brody from her EAW Tryout. Brody is seen having tears of joy in her eyes as the petite woman took the picture a few minutes after Brody was told that she was getting an EAW contract.)

Petite Woman: Who was Brody Sparks?

(The woman finally looks at the camera revealing it to be Brody’s cousin, Monica Vaughan.)

Monica Vaughan: Well (camera zooms into the frame of Brody looking at her opponent in the ramp in her pose)…

(“Iconic” by Madonna featuring Chance The Rapper plays…)

[Intro – Mike Tyson:]

*I’m the best the world has ever seen. (I’m the best ever!)*

(The picture in the frame unfreezes into a slow motion of Brody Sparks standing on the ramp as she is looking at her competition dead in the eye.)

*I’m somebody you’ll never forget cause I work hard and sweat in my tears. (Can’t be stopped!); I’m never falling again and if I did, I’d come back.*

(The video package transitions to a montage of Brody going crazy and beating the shit out of everyone like Aria Jaxon, Consuela Rose Ava, Haruna Sakazaki, April Song and Stephanie Matsuda.)

[Verse 1 – Madonna:]

*If you try and fail, get up again; Destiny will choose you in the end; If you don’t make the choice; And you don’t use your voice; Someone else will speak for you instead.*

(Shows a clip of Brody Sparks and her time in OMERTA as the “Code of Depravity” and being in the background to Zack Crash.)

*What you want is just within your reach..*

( December 17, 2016: Road to Redemption X; Brody Sparks looking determined inside the Elimination Chamber for the Specialists Championship.)

(Then, it goes to a rapid pace of Brody showing her best inside the Elimination Chamber. Lasting to the final two against Aria Jaxon.)

*But you gotta practice what you preach; You pay with sweat and tears; And overcome your fears; Never let the fire inside you leave…*

Starr Stan: WAIT! BRODY SPARKS! SHE’S CLIMBING THE TURNBUCKLE! ARIA TRYING TO KICK HER AWAY! THIS IS A BAD SPOT FOR BOTH OF THESE VIXENS! BOTH OF THEIR CAREERS COULD BE SIGNIFICANTLY SHORTENED, IF NOT FLAT OUT ENDED DEPENDING ON HOW THIS PLAYS OUT! ARIA THROWS A KICK, BUT BRODY CATCHES HER LEG AND SLAMS IT INTO THAT POD! ARIA FLINCHES IN PAIN AS BRODY CLIMBS ALL THE WAY UP WITH HER! BRODY SPARKS GRABS ARIA’S HAIR! NO! NO! BRODY! WE KNOW YOU’RE OUT THERE! BUT YOU CANNOT BE CRAZY ENOUGH TO ATTEMPT THIS! EVEN YOU HAVE TO REALIZE HOW THIS COULD GO HORRIFICALLY WRONG!

[Chorus – Madonna:]

*”I can’t”, “icon” – two letters apart; One step away from being lost in the dark; Just shine your light like a beautiful star; Show the world who you are, who you are; Yeah, there’s another part of you no one sees; There’s a burning fire that’s underneath; Baby, don’t you know you were meant to be;Born to be, meant to be….*

SG1: I DOUBT SHE CARES AT THIS RATE STAN! I THINK BRODY JUST WANTS TO PUT AN END TO ALL OF THIS, EVEN IF IT MEANS THE END OF HERSELF! BRODY LEAPS OFF WITH ARIA OFF THE TOP OF THAT DAMN POD AND LANDS THE SPARKS FLY RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING! THE AVALANCHE SIT OUT FACEBUSTER! ARIA’S GOTTA BE FINISHED AFTER THAT! BRODY TURNS HER OVER AND HOOKS BOTH LEGS! DO WE FINALLY HAVE OURSELVES A VICTOR?!

(Scene goes to black as the cover is heard being made before the light appears again in such a fantastic moment.)

Ring Announcer: YOUR WINNER AND THE NEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWW EAW SPECIALISTS CHAMPION….BRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOODYYYYYYYYYYY SPAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(The moment with Brody raising the Specialists Championship up pauses as the camera zooms in to a picture framed as “Iconic” continues to play in the background. A man is seen holding the photo of Brody as he places the frame back on her dresser. The room is different than the one before. This room is one Brody dedicated to her wrestling stuff such as a Specialists Championship in glass cabinet, her custom ring attires such as one with Killer Frost that she wore at Pain for Pride, Iron Man, Harley Quinn, The Riddle, etc. all in a circular design in chamber pods.)

(On the walls, there are pictures of Brody and her Empire friends like Aria Jaxon, Tarah Nova, Stephanie Matsuda, The Avas and The Heart Break Gal, April Song, Astraea Jordan, Chelsea Crowe, Jael Arcana-Rosario, etc. Other photos consisting of people like Y2Impact, Mr. DEDEDE, Diamond Cage, Ryan Marx, Harvey Yorke and Jacob Moore, etc. One of the frames that stick out and is bigger than the other frames is a poster with Brody front and center with Ryan Marx and Harvey Yorke in the back a.k.a. The Iconic Trio in which they dubbed themselves as they had a desire to all team up in the future.)

(A montage of Brody’s Specialists Championship reign appears with her best moments.)

(The man with a muscular build, who is not revealing his face to the camera walks over to another side of the wall, one more special to him than the others. The camera pans a wall with pictures of Brody Sparks and her boyfriend, Jacob Senn. Pictures such as the Hall of Fame Red Carpet and a picture of Jacob and Brody after Jacob got inducted at the Hall of Fame last year. There’s also couple photos of them. One of them with Jacob as World Heavyweight Champion and Brody as Specialists Champion on Dynasty. In the middle, there is “November 2016 – Infinity” in the center.)

(The man finally shows his face as it reveals to be Jacob Senn as he’s trying to keep it together as…)

(The screen goes to black as the date October 26, 2017 appears…)

[Chance The Rapper:]

*Alright; Firefly change when they catch ya; Wanna put ya in their net for their light glow; Yellow brick highway…*

(Mr. DEDEDE who stands solemnly in the ring. He wears jeans and a black leather coat over a light gray ‘Brody Sparks’ T-shirt. DDD lifts the microphone up to his mouth slowly to speak directly into the camera.)

Mr. DEDEDE: Good evening. I stand alone here in the Minneapolis, Minnesota Target Center on this rainy Sunday afternoon.

(The camera goes to backstage with Brody’s closests friends are in tears and hugging each other knowing what Mr. DEDEDE is going to say, but don’t want to accept it. The whole atmosphere is depressing and somber.)

Mr. DEDEDE: This is the venue where the NEO supershow, “Frontline” was expected to take place on Friday night, as well as the same city where Road to Redemption 11 was set to take place yesterday afternoon. Both shows have been postponed however in response to the tragic loss of Meagan Christine Vaughan, known by you all as Brody Sparks, who passed away early Thursday morning. Meagan was found unresponsive and could not be resuscitated by medical professionals. She was only 23 years old.

Mr. DEDEDE: She was a confidant, a motivator, an inspiration, a ray of light in the darkness, who saw past the sometimes tumultuous backstage politics, party alignments and even conventional thought. She was somebody who stood for what was right even if it directly contradicted what was popular. She was a beacon of hope, a symbol of integrity, a guiding light for those who walked aimlessly, a megaphone for those who were seen as voiceless.

(Camera pans to the Empire Elitists and tonight’s competitors.)

*Iconic…*

(Megan Raine is shown raising the Specialists Championship at King of Elite after defeating Consuela Rose Ava and flexing her power on Empire when it comes to her relationship, champion status and entitlement.)

*Iconic…*

(Consuela Rose Ava and Zakkii show the new fire and ruthlessness in them to earn their Specialists Championship shots.)

*Iconic…*

(Sydney St. Clair is shown in her losing streak to finally get a needed victory.)

*Iconic…*

(The Crowe’s Nest is showing running havoc on Empire and standing above people they have laid out like Aria Jaxon, Nicole Fyre and Andrea Valentine.)

*Iconic…*

(Tarah Nova and Stephanie Matsuda’s clashing is shown. It ends with Tarah and Cloud being pulled back by security.)

*Iconic…*

(Andrea Valentine, April Song, Jael Arcana-Rosario, Nicolette Lyons, Daisy Thrash, Sakuya and Azumi Goto are showing kicking ass and looking good.)

*Iconic…*

(Chelsea Crowe and Aria Jaxon clashing at the last Empire before the Iconic Cup and Aria raising the Womens World Championship in the air!)

*Iconic…*

(In a split screen, Monica Vaughan and Jacob Senn are showing leaving Brody’s respected rooms, taking one last look before closing the door and shutting off the lights. The whole scene goes black.)

Narrator: AND NOW… ELITE ANSWERS WRESTLING AND EMPIRE PRESENTS THE ICONIC CUP!!!!

(The interior of the Barclays Center is shown as a fireworks display goes off on stage)

SG1: Welcome to the first Empire Supershow of the year, The Iconic Cup! I am “Your Friendly Neighborhood Vixen!” SG1! And beside me is my partner Gia Cervantes!

Gia Cervantes: Thank you! We have a sold out show for all of you at home, all in the name of the Iconic One herself! Without further ado, let’s get to the first match!

(Jasmine Peyton is standing in the ring with Miss Manami who is wearing a referee’s shirt)

(Ding! Ding! Ding!)

Jasmine Peyton: The following Young Lioness Showcase is scheduled for one fall!

Brooklyn Crowd: One Fall!

Jasmine: This match will be officiated by Puroresu Hall of Famer and now EAW Performance Center coach…Miss Manami!

(Miss Manami waves and bows to the crowd)

Jasmine: First! Making her way to the ring…

(“F*ck Love” by Iggy Azalea plays as Nicolette Lyons walk out to a chorus of boos. She laughs while waving a dismissive hand at the crowd.)

Jasmine: From Madison, Wisconsin! Weighing in 120lbs! Nicolette Lyons!

SG1: A Lyons in a Young Lioness Showcase! This match was booked by Flannery McCoy to give two newcomers a chance to showcase their talents!

Gia: I have to say SG, this is just one of many decisions Flannery has made in recent weeks that I can get behind!

SG!: You’re not the only one who feels that way my friend!

(Nicolette climbs into the ring and rolls her eyes at Miss Manami)

Jasmine: Her opponent!

(“Switch On” by Anna Tsuichiya plays as Sakuya Goto walks out to a standing ovation dressed in her signature pirate outfit)

Jasmine: From Yonabaru, Okinawa, Japan! Weighing in at 104lbs!

Fan behind Gia: She’s about to get MURKED!

Jasmine: “Front Pacific Voyager!” Sakuya! Goto!

SG1: The sister of Azumi Goto and the third JET alum to join the ranks of Empire, Sakuya Goto has enjoyed some success here on Empire!

Gia: She has quickly become a fan favorite! If she wins tonight, that momentum might carry off into greener pastures!

(Sakuya climbs into the ring and bows before her sensei, Miss Manami. She takes off her attire and confronts Nicolette in the middle of the ring)

(DING! DING! DING!)

SG1: The bell rings and this match is underway! Nicolette Lyons and Sakuya are meeting in the center of the ring. Gia, what do you make of this match?

Gia: Both women are coming off a win from last week’s Empire. It’s hard to say – Sakuya has the experience, but Nicolette displayed some ruthless aggression!

SG1: Well both competitors are taking their time feeling each other out. Sakuya offers a hand for a test of strength. Unlike before the bell, Nicolette takes it! Wait! Kick to the gut of Sakuya! Snapmare! Nicolette hits the ropes and follows-up with a sliding clothesline! The fans are booing at her display of underhand tactics, but Nicolette laughs it off.

Gia: It must be hard for Manami to watch her student getting suckered in like that.

SG1: I doubt it – Manami is as professional as they come. Also, it’s the beginning of the match.

Gia: Nicolette applies a chinlock, pulling back the head as she keeps the sky pirate grounded. Sakuya kicks about as Manami checks on her. Goto slips and grounds Nicorette with a hammerlock counter! She maintain the leverage, but Lyons rollos through and flips back to her feet – SAKUYA MEETS HER WITH A DROPKICK! Nicolette gets back to her feet – A SECOND DROPKICK! Goto whips Lyons to the ropes – Nicolette hits the flying crossbody on the rebound! She makes a quick cover!

Refnami: ONE-

SG1: Sakuya kicks out! Nicolette picks her up and Goto forced a collar-and-elbow tie-up! The two are in a struggle for control! Refnami is checking on the two to make sure there’s no foul play involved – Nicolette stomps on Sakuya’s foot and forces the smaller competitor into the corner! Manami is telling her to back away to give Sakuya space! Nicolette lets go and puts her her hands…only to pat Sakuya on the head!

Gia: Sakuya doesn’t look too happy about that as she pushes Nicolette away! Lyons charges forward with a clothesline – Sakuya ducks under and hits a flying clothesline as Nicolette rebounds off the ropes! Nicolette gets up, trying to gather her bearings – HESITATION DROPKICK AND NICOLETTE IS SENT FLYING INTO THE SECOND TURNBUCKLE INTO THE CORNER! Sakura puts a hand to her forehead and starts pacing around the ring! She’s looking for treasure – will she find it? CANNONBALL SENTON!

SG1: Sakuya’s ship just fired shots at the enemy! Nicolette’s on her back! Sakuya climbs to the top as she’s about to board and get that booty!

Gia: Que?

SG1: You know what I mean! Sakuya raises her elbow, signaling the Avast! Nicolette will have none of that as she instinctively rolls out the ring! Smart move by The Lyoness! Goto hops down, hits the ropes, and heads to the outside! SUICIDE DIVE! Sakuya’s small frame collides against Nicolette’s as the two hit the floor! The fans have pirate fever as the crowd is going nuts!

Brooklyn Crowd: GET THAT BOOTY! GET THAT BOOTY! GET THAT BOOTY!

Gia: …

SG1: Come on Gia! It’s time to sail the seven seas and look for that win!

Refnami: One!

SG1: The straight-laced Miss Manami has begun the count out as Sakuya whips Nicolette into the barricade! You could hear The Golden Beauty’s body colliding with the padded steel! She’s trying to collect herself as Sakuya heads over, ready to continue her pirate assault!

Refnami: Two!

Gia: Lyons is not in a good position as Sakuya raises a fist in the air and opens it in a shape of a chopping hand! It’s like when my husband played Zelda and Link got the Master Sword for the first time-

SG1: Sakuya starts firing off a series of chops across the chest! One! Two! Three! Four! Five! Six…

Crowd: CHOP-CHOP-CHOP-CHOP-CHOP-CHOP-CHOP-CHOP-

Refnami: Three!

SG1: OUCH! One last vicious chop and Nicolette comes stumbling from the barricade! How is she still standing!?

SG1: Sakuya rolls her back into the ring and makes a cover!

Refnami: OOOONEEEEEEEE!

TWWWWWWOOOOOOOOO!

Gia: The Heart of a Lyon kicks out at two! She’s showing great fortitude as she’s trying to sit up! Sakuya leaps for a standing leg drop! No dice as Nicolette rolls out the way! Goto fell on her rear and is feeling the effects of it! Nicolette is back on her feet and lifts her up for a vertical suplex! Nicolette is holding her chest, still feeling the effects of those machine gun chops! She picks up Sakuya one more time and lifts her high into the air – POWERBOMB! Nicolette leans forward for the pin!

Refnami: OOOONEEEEEEEE!

TWWWWWWOOOOOOOO!

SG1: Sakuya manages to get the shoulder up! I have to say, Nicolette Lyon’s power surprises me every time! Nicolette picks up Goto from behind, and locks the Dragon Sleeper! She falls back with Sakuya as she keeps her in her clutches! Goto’s kicking her feet, trying to escape from the hold! Nicolette wraps the legs around to apply a body scissors!

Gia: Sakuya’s in trouble! Nicolette has her dead to rights in the middle of the ring! Sakuya’s head and neck is yanked back as far as it can go! She needs to break free or she’ll find herself tapping out in front of her sensei! The Brooklyn crowd is behind Sakuya as she raises her arms, determined to stay in this!

Brooklyn Crowd: PLEASE DON’T TAP! PLEASE DON’T TAP! PLEASE DON’T TAP!

SG1: Sakuya’s trying to turn over, but Nicolette won’t budge! She tries to turn over a second time! Nicolette’s body scissors keeps her firmly in place! Sakuya’s hands ball up into tiny fists of fury! She starts punching at Nicolette’s leg! Lyon’s grip is starting to slip! Sakuya’s using every ounce of muscle within her to separate the legs! Sakuya’s trying to break free! She starts elbowing Nicolette’s side! She’s forced to loosen her grip and Sakuya is free! She scrambles to the nearest corner on all fours! Nicolette bolts to the corner! Sakuya slips through the ropes to avoid the corner clothesline. SETOUCHI CURVE! Sakuya springboards off the ropes and connects with the forearm smash!

Gia: Nicolette is knocked to the center of the ring! Sakuya’s eyes light up as it looks like she got an idea in her head! She trots over to Nicolette, stopping at her head. She raises her eyebrow in a very familiar way…

SG1: (laughs) Jesus Christ.

Gia: Am I missing something? Why is she taking off her elbow pad?

SG1: Sakuya and her sister Azumi did an interview in Japan where she said her favorite “DEDEDE” version was The Gawd and explained why the Bottomless Elbow was her favorite finisher…

Gia: She’s waving her hands! The fans are on their feet! She hits the ropes! Stops dead center aaaaannnnnnd BOTTOMLESS ELBOW! SHE ACTUALLY DID THE BOTTOMLESS ELBOW!  SHE GOING FOR THE PIN!

Refnami/Crowd: OOOOOOOOOONNNNEEEEEEEE!

TWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

THRRRRR-

Gia/SG1: SHE KICKED OUT!

(The camera zooms in on Sakuya’s shocked face and then zooms out to show the entire Barclays Center in an uproar)

SG1: What would have been the perfect tribute to The Gawd himself turned into a failed attempt to seal the deal! Sakuya is going to need to end things her way if she wants to win this match!

Gia: I think she heard you loud and clear SG, because she’s scaling the top rope to try and end things once and for all! She’s perched on the top turnbuckle, standing up with her fingers pointed to the sky! She then looks down at Nicolette and salutes!

SG1: Nicolette is dead center. Can she hit the Avast Diving Elbow?

Gia: I’ve seen a JET video once…

SG1: She takes a leap of faith-

Gia: LYONS CUTTER! LYONS CUTTER FROM OUT OF NOWHERE! NICOLETTE FALLS ON TOP OF SAKUYA GOTO!

Refnami:/Crowd: OOOONEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

TWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOO!

THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

(DING! DING! DING!)

(“F*ck Love” by Iggy Azalea plays as Nicolette Lyons raises her arm in victory. Miss Manami solemnly helps her up and raises her arm to declare the victor)

Jasmine Peyton: Your winner by pinfall….Nicolette! Lyons!

SG1: Sakuya Goto put up one hell of a fight, but Nicolette came back with that cutter out of the blue!

Gia: A surprise attack can turn the tide of the entire fight. Titles were lost over the smallest oversights!

SG1: Well Sakuya may have not lost a title, but her momentum has definitely slowed to a screeching halt!

Gia: EAW Universe, that was just one out of five amazing matches you’re going to see tonight on Empire’s The Iconic Cup Supershow!

(Commercial – An ad for Grand Rampage ‘18 is shown, showing various EAW Elitists running through a mall during Black Friday)

Rebecca Sawyer: The following contest is scheduled for one fall!

Crowd: ONE FALL!!

Jasmine Peyton: The woman who wins this contest, by order of Empire General Manager Flannery McCoy, will receive a “Unique Opportunity that will be revealed on the next edition of Empire!

(“Reach for the Sky” by Social Distortion plays and the crowd erupts as Sydney St. Clair emerges from the curtain onto the stage full of energy, tossing her cap into the crowd as she sprints towards the ring.)

Jasmine Peyton: Introducing first, from Ashford-in-Kent, England, weighing in at 112 pounds….She is the Dream Chaser, SYDNEY….SAINT….CLAAIIIIIIRRRRRR!

Gia: Sydney has been chasing dreams ever since arriving here in EAW and this is one of her biggest opportunities to date. If she can snag a victory here tonight, she has earned an opportunity that could be anything!

SG1: It can’t be overstated how important this match is for both of these women. If Sydney wins here tonight, her career and life could literally change in an instant.

(“Flashbacks” by Emika plays as the crowd starts to turn hostile as Jael Arcana-Rosario emerges wearing her signature all-black attire.)

Jasmine Peyton: Her opponent, Representing the Crowe’s Nest, from Tempe, Arizona, weighing in at 115 pounds…”Our Lady of Sorrows” JAEL…..ARCANA-ROOOOOOOSARRRRRRRRIO!!!!

SG1: Speaking of Unique Opportunities, we could have a unique situation on our hands if the Crowe’s Nest has its way tonight. Chelsea has a title match with Aria Jaxon. April has that grueling Iconic Cup gauntlet. Jael has this match here right now against Sydney. If they win all three, the Crowe’s Nest pretty much holds all the cards on Empire…

Gia: And the scary part about it is that even without their preferred tactics of sneak attacks and running interference for each other they are good enough to get that done. Wherever Jael is, April and Chelsea certainly aren’t too far behind.

(The two women face off in the center of the ring, stone-faced expressions etched onto both of their faces as the referee directs them both back to their corners. Both of them take off their signature accessories, Jael’s cross and Sydney’s aviation goggles, and put them away at the corners before quickly turning to face each other. Satisfied that both look ready, the referee immediately calls for the bell.)

DING DING DING!!!

Gia: And here we go in this massive, potentially career-making contest for both of these fantastic young female elitists. Both of them were successful in warm-up matches last week on Empire and now they get to face off one on one. Collar-and-elbow tie up in the center of the ring as the two women jockey for position, neither giving any ground…Sydney managing to use her leg strength to churn forward and push Jael into the ropes….but Jael manages to gather enough strength and push her way back to the center of the ring and eventually manages to get a side headlock applied!

SG1: A bit of a slow, feeling out process to start. Sydney isn’t comfortable at this pace I feel, she would probably want a more fast-paced match, at least compared to what Jael wants. She wants to keep this one slow, methodical.

Gia: Sydney trying to break the headlock but to no avail. Jael holding her ground in the center of the ring, and now she takes her down in that headlock! Jael wrenching tighter but Sydney working her legs over the neck of Jael, trying to lock in a hold, but Jael manages to kip up out of it, relinquishing her hold! Jael immediately takes a swing with a roundhouse kick that Sydney BARELY dodges and both women are back up to their feet! Stalemate here in the early going of this extremely important match. Sydney goes for another lockup but Jael quickly steps in and lands a chop right to the throat first, stunning the Englishwoman!

SG1: Very sneaky, very sneaky! And now Jael gets to go to work! Snapmare takedown and then a dropkick right to the back of Sydney’s head! She’s a deceptively agile woman when she wants to be, though she tends to avoid some of the more high-flying exploits of many of the competitors on Empire.

Gia: She’s definitely in control here as Sydney is clutching her head, trying to shake the cobwebs out. Jael grabbing at that right leg and pulling it up…and DRIVING the knee right down into the canvas! UP AND DOWN AGAIN! Sydney rolling around on the mat now as she is clutching her knee in pain!

SG1: Her and April do have one trait in common, both of them like to have a plan in that ring, both of them are very adept at submissions and delivering tons of punishment. And here comes one of those submission moves now!

Gia: Speaking it into existence I see. Jael is taking her time applying a modified Indian deathlock here and there it is, in the center of the ring. You can hear Sydney screaming in pain and now she’s got to find a way out of this hold!

SG1: Well this version of the deathlock ain’t exactly the figure four! You can’t just roll over and reverse it. Plus you can’t really reach your opponent from this vicinity so trying to reverse it is useless. You’ve got to get to those ropes or give it up before you start hearing tendons popping and cartilage snapping!

Gia: Jael is clenching that hold in tight and Sydney is using that strong upper body of hers to try to power her way to the ropes. The crowd here in Brooklyn rising to their feet as one, trying to urge on the fiery redhead and get her to the ropes….she’s almost there….ALMOST….AND THERE! She grabs the ropes and Jael is forced to break the hold!

(The crowd starts roaring with boos as Jael refuses to let go of the hold, the referee screaming at her before utilizing his count.)

Ref:(no mic) C’mon Jael, let it go! NOW! LET IT GO! ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR!

Jael: (no mic) I HAVE UNTIL FIVE! NOW SHUT UP!

Gia: She lets go of the hold, but honestly I think the damage may be done. Sydney is clutching that knee and she may be injured beyond belief. The referee is trying to check on her but Jael pushes him out of the way and immediately goes to stomping away at that same knee, the one that she’s been targeting since the start of the match!

SG1: I’m trying to figure out if there was some scouting report out on that knee beforehand. We know how the Crowe’s Nest operates. They’re arrogant but they’re not idiots, Gia! They know what to do in that ring and they are all thinking wrestlers, Jael didn’t come into this match unprepared at all.

Gia: Jael in complete control of this match right now as she pulls a limping Sydney up to her feet. Pumphandle….NEURODEGENERATION! Jael just lifted up her opponent and hit a brainbuster right on the knee essentially! Sydney is out in the middle of the ring! Cover….

ONEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

TWOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Gia: No! Sydney showing a spark by managing to kick out. This match is definitely going in Jael’s favor though as she is quickly up to her feet. Sydney is trying to get up to her feet but Jael is there, landing a hard shoot kick right to the midsection! ANd another one right to the chest! Jael is taking her time and placing these kicks.

Jael: (no mic) Look at you…Where’s Tarah to save you now, huh? Pathetic. Weak. Broken. Clearly that fool molded you in her own image!

(Jael goes for another kick but Sydney manages to beat her to the punch with a vicious forearm shot that leaves her staggered and the crowd cheering.)

Gia: I think Sydney is answering the bell here! Another hard forearm shot, and another, and another! She’s scoring with those forearms and lands another one that I’m pretty damn sure knocked a tooth out! Irish whip from Sydney as she sends Jael to the opposite corner. RUNNING COPPU KICK TO THE CORNER! JAEL IS STUNNED! Sydney quickly flexing the hurt knee, trying to keep it from locking up on her, the adrenaline definitely flowing now as she gets another running start…springboard off the ropes…..AERIAL AAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCCCCCEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

SG1: It was super effective that time!

Gia: Sydney trying to lock up that unique opportunity for herself, the cover!

ONEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

TWOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

SG1: NOPE! Jael manages to kick out!

Gia: This match really picked up here in the recent moments, Sydney may have landed on that knee a bit awkwardly as now she’s starting to limp a little bit more noticeably, but she’s on her feet and now she’s pulling Jael up to her feet…brilliant Saito Suplex! She dropped her right on the back of the head! And now Sydney is going up to the top rope again, trying to take advantage of the situation. What is she going to look for here? I think she’s looking for…DIVING METEORA!

SG1: NO! DID YOU SEE THAT!? JAEL MANAGED TO CATCH HER ON HER SHOULDERS….AND SHE COUNTERS THE METEORA WITH A STUN GUN! Sydney’s neck just bounced off that top rope! An absolutely brilliant counter, simply brilliant.

Gia: Jael is up to her feet, the smug look she had earlier when she was taunting Sydney is completely gone, she’s focused on the task at hand now for sure. Look at that cold stare. Sydney’s now not only struggling with her knee, it just looks like she’s struggling to breathe. She’s up to a knee but Jael is waiting, fierce kicks to the midsection! Angels Shall Sin….

SG1: AND DEVILS SHALL PRAY! That running kick almost took Sydney’s head off! How much more punishment can she take!?

Gia: This crowd is booing, voicing its displeasure at the proceedings but it may be only a matter of time before Jael secures the win and that Unique Opportunity along with it. She’s got a hold of some of those fire-red locks, pulling a defenseless Sydney up to her feet…but..Uh oh. This is bad. She’s going for the Stigmata! She’s going to end this right now! She’s got Sydney in position and now is lifting her up…if she hits this it’s over! IF SHE HITS THIS IT IS OVER! STIGMATA!!!

SG1: NO! Sydney managed to escape just in time before Jael could deliver the finishing blow…she whips her head around quickly and is immediately hit with a Sling Blade! Sydney Is limping a bit but back on her feet, trying to grind through the pain and find a way to finish her opponent off! She is running out of time I think, that knee is not gonna get any better for her!

Gia: I definitely agree there.Sydney scores with a kick to the midsection as soon as Jael is up to her feet..MAGIC SATCHEL FROM Sydney. She goes for another quick cover, trying to get the victory here!

ONEEEEEEEEEE!!!

TWOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

THRRRRRRRRRR

Gia Not yet! Jael gets a shoulder up right before the count of three! Sydney is up, she’s trying to figure out how to finish this match off. She’s got to think quickly here….

(Sydney is looking around for inspiration and the camera catches her staring at one of the many posters depicting Brody Sparks in the arena, nodding her head slightly in understanding before standing up to her feet completely, waiting on Jael to get up.)

SG1: What on earth was that about?!

Gia: I think Sydney is drawing on inspiration from an Iconic figure in EAW’s history as she lifts Jael up to her feet and then hoists her on her shoulders! She’s looking for Sparks Ignition! SHE’S GOING FOR IT!

(The crowd gasp as he knee buckles underneath her, forcing her to let go of Jael as she falls to one knee, clutching the injured one in pain.)

SG1: She couldn’t hold her up! The damage from Jael’s planning and submissions is paying dividends now as he nails a vicious kneeling DDT on Sydney! Her head bounced off the damn canvas like a basketball! This one is over!

Gia: I think you may be right, Jael rolls a motionless Sydney over and hooks the leg.

ONEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

TWOOOOOOOOO!!!!

THREEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Gia: WAIT A SECOND! SHE GOT A SHOULDER UP! HOW!? JAEL LOOKS CONFUSED, SHOCKED EVEN! The crowd is electric right now, trying to get Sydney an extra boost of energy as Jael gets up, looking for a way to finish this off once and for all and seize the unique opportunity that will go to the winner! She lifts Sydney off the canvas by the hair and makes her way to the corner. Oh no…..

SG1: Jael is now looking for the Stigmata II, resorting to desperate measures now that Sydney has shown how tough and resilient she can be! She’s got her in the air, I’m not sure if she’s going to be able to wiggle her way out of this one!

Gia: Jael in prime position to end this match! She’s got Sydney high in the air, standing on the middle rope….STIGMATA II!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SG1: GOOD NIGHT!

Gia: SYDNEY COUNTERED WITH A FRANKENSTEINER! SHE COUNTERED IT AGAIN AND HAS BOTH THE LEGS HOOKED!

ONEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

TWOOOOOO!!!!!

Gia: NO! Jael managed to kick out of that one! Sydney tries to get up to her feet quickly and Jael beats her to it and lands a kick to the midsection! She hoists Sydney over her shoulders in a fireman’s carry of her own…but look, Sydney is fighting back with elbows to the head…..AND NOW AUTOMATIC MIDNIGHT! SHE GOT IT AND HAS THE INSIDE CRADLE!

ONEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

TWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

(DING DING DING!!)

(“Reach for the Sky” blasts through the arena as the crowd erupts in applause as an exhausted Sydney St. Clair makes her way to her feet, grimacing in pain as her arm is raised in victory.)

Rebecca Sawyer: Ladies and Gentlemen, the winner of this contest and the Unique Opportunity……….SYDNEY….SAINT……CLAIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

Gia: I don’t know how she is standing! I don’t know how she won this match, but the Dream Chaser caught a big one tonight, winning the big opportunity touted by our General Manager! What a victory for this young woman!

SG1: Jael did just about everything right. The game plan on the knee worked to near perfection but some how, some way, this tough little redhead managed to overcome. I have to say well done to her for pulling this one out.

(We cut to see Flannery McCoy watching the show from a monitor in the backstage area. With a clipboard and pen in her hands, she is seemingly surveillancing the event closely. As she looks up from her notes, something off-screen catches her eye. A quizzical look on her face, she tucks her clipboard under her arm and the camera follows her as she approaches whatever it is that caught her attention.

As the camera looks over Flannery’s shoulder, we can see Tarah Nova speaking to a man in a suit. Flannery approaches Tarah as she wrote something on a piece of paper, handing it to the man and shaking his hand before heading off. Flannery taps Tarah on the shoulder to get her attention.)

Flannery McCoy: Uh, Tarah?

Tarah Nova: Ah, Flannery! How can I help you?

Flannery McCoy: I have noticed you have been talking to…whoever that is… over the past few weeks. Is something going on?

Tarah Nova: Oh, no. We were just talking business, that’s all.

Flannery McCoy: What do you mean bu–

Tarah Nova: Sorry, would love to explain, but I’ve got a match to prepare for. Gotta go!

Flannery McCoy: Wait Tarah! TARAH!

(Tarah walks off screen as Flannery shouts after her, looking confused at whatever secret Tarah is hiding.)

(A montage for The EAW Specialist Championship match is shown, including Megan Raine’s victorious ladder match against Azumi Goto. Zakkii is shown winning the 8-woman battle royal while Consuela Rose Ava wins the beat the clock challenge by a second via submission victory. The next scene shows the Specialist Conference where Zakkii gifts her opponents with Japanese pancakes. The last scene shows Megan Raine and Consuela Rose Ava facing off at the center of the conference table.)

(“Exotic” by Priyanka Chopra  ft. Pitbull plays as Consuela Rose Ava walks out, wearing a blue version of her attire. She’s greeted with cheers and returns the gesture by blowing kisses at the crowd as she walks down the ramp.)

SG1: An Empire favorite and staple, Consuela Rose Ava, makes her triumphant return to the Specialist title scene! Megan Raine has ended her four month title reign at King of Elite, a much more fruitful run than her first.

Gia: It’s interesting because Consuela defeated Brody Sparks to obtain her first Specialist Championship. Now here she is, paying tribute to one of her biggest rivals.

SG1: Life is funny like that. Just because someone is your foe in the ring, doesn’t mean it’s that way outside of it.

Gia: Someone tell that to Cloud and Aria – hell better yet Aria and Chelsea.

(Consuela poses on the apron and climbs into the ring where she paces around for several moments. “Exotic” fades as “Blue Azure” by Zakkii plays. The artist and wrestler herself comes out wearing blue and gold attire.)

SG1: Some roads are straight and paved with gold. Others twist and turn along the way. Zakkii’s is the latter.

Gia: She had a rough couple of years after PFP 8. Losing the Specialist Championship after 2 weeks. While she defeated Stephanie Matsuda and HBG in the same night to earn a shot at the then Vixen’s Champion, now current EAW Champion, she hasn’t seen much of an opening to the main event scene. This win would not only make her a two-time Specialist Champion with Consuela, but a future prospect for the Women’s World Championship contention!

(Zakkii climbs into the ring and climbs the nearest turnbuckle to wave at her fans.)

(“Studio” by Schoolboy Q plays as the arena lights go black. A single spotlight shines down on a moonwalking Megan Raine. She stops in the middle of the ring and raises the EAW Specialist title in the air with both hands. Her fitted hat covers her face as she walks down the ramp to a mixed reaction. The spotlight follows her to the apron. The spotlight turns off as the arena lights turn on.)

SG1: What a crazy ride it’s been for Mega Raine! From struggling on the lower card, to current EAW Specialist Champion! Tonight she’ll face her biggest challenge yet as she faces both Consuela and Zakkii in a triple threat match!

Gia: Well she talked a lot of smack in her promos, let’s see if she can back it up!

(Megan climbs into the ring as Jasmine Peyton climbs in to the ring)

Jasmine: The following Triple Threat match is scheduled for-

Brooklyn Crowd: ONE FALL!

Jasmine: (smiles) and it is for the EAW Specialist Championship! First, hailing from Frias, Spain! “The Maid” Consuela Rose Ava!

(Consuela smiles and poses for the crowd)

Jasmine: Next! From Kyoto, Japan! The woman known as Zakkii!!!

(Zakkii raises a defiant fist as the crowd cheers her name)

Jasmine: And the champion! From  Hammersmith, London, U.K.! She is your EAW Specialist Champion…”The Storm” Megan! Raine!

(Megan raises her title for a moment before giving it to the ref, Jesse Carlton. She tosses off her NY Yankees fitted into the crowd.)

Jesse Carlton: START THE MATCH!

(DING! DING! DING!)

SG1: Referee Jesse Carlton calls for the bell and this match is underway and – what’s this? Megan Raine slides out of the ring! Consuela and Zakkii are confused by the champ’s actions! Is she trying to leave the ring?

Gia: Hey SG, she’s coming over here.

(Megan Raine pulls up a seat at the commentary table, waving a dismissive hand at Consuela and Zakkii!)

Megan: (off mic) It’s alright, you two go at it for a bit! I’ll be there in a minute!

(Megan puts on a microphone head seat while Consuela is yelling at her to get back into the ring.)

Gia: Megan, what are you doing? You have a match!

Megan: They need to prove themselves worthy first! I’m a champion Gia! The Specialist Champion – the greatest the world has ever seen! No offense to the late, great Iconic One, but I like to think that I’m carrying on her legacy!

Consuela: (yells) IF YOU DON’T GET YOUR ASS BACK INTO THIS RING-

SG1: ZAKKII WITH THE ROLL-UP!!!

Ref: OOOONEEEEEEEEE!

TWOOOOOOOOO!

SG1: Consuela kicks out!

Megan: See? I’m not worried! What Consuela needs to worry about is Lady Goku over there! She’s been going Super Saiyan all week!

Gia: Consuela is shocked by Zakkii’s attempt to win the Specialist Championship seconds into the match!  She’s pointing over here, asking Zakkii to help get you back into the ring – where you belong in my opinion!

Megan: Well good thing I don’t give a damn about your opinion or Consuela’s!

SG1: Apparently neither does Zakkii who kicks Consuela with a palm strike! Ava is forced to defend herself by blocking several more palm strikes! She forces the tie-up and takes Zakkii down with a headlock! That’s smart of Consuela to slow things down in the ring!

Gia: Aren’t you worried that you might lose your title without being in the ring?

Megan: #FaithInZakkii.

Gia: Okaaay. Anyway, Consuela still has Zakkii in a headlock as she gets to her feet! Zakkii pushes Consulea to the ropes! Snap armdrag! Zakkii transitions into an armlock upon impact! Consuela is holding her arm, gritting her teeth in pain! Referee Jesse Carlton is checking on the situation! Consuela twists under Zakkii’s arm and counters with a modified headscissors armbar! Zakkii slips out in in time and rolls away! She ducks under Consuela’s spinning roundhouse kick! Zakkii counters with a back suplex but Consuela flips out of it! She whips Zakkii to the corner! She charges to the corner HANDSPRING BACK ELBOW! What agility!

Megan: Gaaaaay.

SG1: Zakkii stumbles out – follow-up DDT! Consuela lifts the leg for the cover!

Ref: OOOONEEEEEEEEEE!

SG1: Zakkii kicks out at one! You might want to get in there Megan!

Megan: Nah.

SG1: Consuela picks up Zakkii by the hair and flips her on her bottom with a snapmare! Ava hits the ropes! Zakkii dodges the basement dropkick! SHINING WIZARDII! Zakkii makes a quick cover!

Ref: OOOOOONEEEEEEE!

SG1: Consuela gets the shoulder up! These women seem very adamant about securing a quick victory! Are you sure you don’t want to go in there?

(Megan receives a drink from a fan and takes a sip)

Megan: I’m good.

Gia: Zakkii is amping up the crowd as she paces around the ring! She applies an arm winger on a kneeling Consuela and starts firing kicks to her chest! One! Two! Three! Four! Zakkii lets go of the arm and jumps back! She starts mimicking Consuela’s ‘Yes’ tribute taunt before delivering the roundhouse kick! Consuela ducks! Zakkii does a full 360 spin – THESZ PRESS! THE CROWD IS GOING WILD AS CONSUELA UNLEASHES A MULTITUDE OF PUNCHES! Zakkii pushes her off! Consuela charges for- drop toehold counter by Zakkii! Consuela is leaning against the ropes! FLYING TRAINWRECK CLOTHESLINE AND BOTH WOMEN GO TUMBLING OUTSIDE!

SG1: This match has spilled to the outside as Consuela and Zakkii hit the mat hard!

Megan: That’s my cue! ^_^

SG1: Of course. The champ is taking the opportunity to grab Zakkii who is crawling along the floor! She’s laughing at the young Japanese wrestler who’s risking it all to redeem her short-lived inaugural Specialist Championship run! Megan SLAPS Zakkii across the face! The Brooklyn fans are booing Megan’s opportunistic tactics!

Gia: This is New York City…isn’t it supposed to be Bizarro World where the bad guys are cheered and the good guys booed?

SG1: That rule doesn’t apply with women like Zakkii bust their butts day in and out to make it to the top! The fans are completely behind her, despite Megan having her way with slap after slap!

Megan: (yells) You think you’re better than me!? Huh!? You thin-

Gia: CONSUELA SPEARS MEGAN INTO THE STEEL STAIRS! Both women are laid out next to each other! Fortunately for Zakkii she was spared from that exchange! Brooklyn is losing its mind right now! Consuela and Megan are both stirring while Zakkii is standing up, leaning against the apron.

SG1: Zakkii is making her way over to Consuela and slams her head against the ring post! Ava bounced back like a rag doll from the impact! What brutality from someone so cheerful! Hell, last week she gave her competitors pancakes!

Gia: Okonomiyaki to be exact. Zakkii now has Megan Raine in her clutches – Raine pushes Zakkii into the ring post! She grabs her and leads her around into a circle and SLAMS ZAKKI INTO THE RINGPOST AGAIN SHOULDER-FIRST! She rolls a stunned Zakkii into the ring and does the same with Consuela! Please, don’t let it in like this! She slides in and makes the cover on Zakkii!

Ref: OOOONEEEEEEEE!

TWWWWOOOOOOOOO!

Gia: Zakkii kicks out! Megan desperate jumps on top of Consuela!

Ref: OOONEEEEEEEEEEE!

TWWWWWOOOOOOO!

Gia: Consuela kicks out as well!

SG1: Megan’s slams her fists into the mat in frustration as she realizes her plan was all for naught!

Gia: She should’ve known better than to think she would be able to take out TWO former Specialist Champions so easily. People can say what they want about Zakkii, but she held out against seven other women to become the first champ in a scramble match! And then you have Consuela, the only two-time champ!

SG1: As usual, you’re right Gia! Megan needs to formulate a new battle plan if she wants to come out the other side victorious! She waits for Consuela and Zakkii to get on their knees. Stiff kick to the chest of Consuela! One for Zakkii! Another one for Consuela! A second one for Zakkii! Consuela! Zakkii! Consuela! Zakkii! She leans back against the ropes and bounces off into a basement double dropkick to women! Megan’s not finished yet as she grabs Consuela by the waist and DEADLIFTS HER INTO NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX ON TOP OF ZAKKII! SHE HAS THE BRIDGE AS SHE’S USING CONSUELA’S BODY TO KEEP ZAKKII’S SHOULDERS ON THE MAT! Jesse Carlton is confused but goes with it anyway!

Ref: OOONEEEEEEEEEE!

TWWWWWWWOOOOOO!

TH-

SG1: Zakkii gets the shoulder up in time!

Gia: Megan’s in complete disbelief! The audience is letting us know they approve with their “This is Awesome!” Empire’s first supershow of the new year and the bar has already been set!

SG1: Megan wants to find a way to walk out of here with that belt over her shoulders! Swinging neckbreaker to Consuela! With Maid in Spain down, Consuela turns her attention to Zakkii! She takes a couple of steps back…HURRICANRANA DRIVER! Always impressive to see! Zakkii is holding her head and shoulder while Consuela is tending to her neck. Megan Raine is in complete comfort knowing her chances are slowly improving!

Gia: Megan picks up Zakkii and whips her to the corner! The sheer impact forced Zakkii into a seated position! PROJECT RUNWAY!  Running double knees to the face, and Zakkii is out cold on the mat! Megan climbs to the top! MOONSAULT OVER BROOKLYN! MEGAN HAS BOTH LEGS UP! THIS IS COULD BE IT!

Ref: OOOONEEEEEEEEE!

TWWWWWOOOOOOOOO!

TH-

SG1: CONSULEA MAKES THE SAVE!

(The entire arena is drumming their feet on the ground as Consuela lies next to her opponents, shocked that she made it in time)

SG1: Consuela came in at the last second and saved her chances of a third title reign! Megan is getting to her feet and kicks at Consuela – she catches her leg! Consulea sweeps Megan to the floor! SHE CAPTURES MEGAN INTO THE AVA LOCK! THE INVERTED STF MADE FAMOUS BY HER SISTER CAMERON ELLA AVA! SHE HAS MEGAN DEAD TO RIGHTS, PULLING HER NECK BACK! THE CHAMP REFUSES TO GIVE UP BUT THE PAIN IS OBVIOUS!

Gia: Consuela took a chance and immediately capitalized! She just need Megan to tap before Zakkii is back on her feet! Wait, it’s too late as Zakkii is back in action as she rolls under the ropes to the apron! She picks herself up and holds on to the third rope! SPRINGBOARD BODY SPLASH – CONSUELA ROLLS OUT THE WAY AS ZAKKII LANDS ON MEGAN RAINE’S BACK! Before Zakkii can think, Consuela picks her up from behind and delivers a quick and deadly inverted DDT!

SG1: Megan is sitting up, but that was probably the wrong move as she’s now in Consuela’s sights! She starts letting of a series of furious kick to the chest! Wow! ROUNDHOUSE CONNECTS WITH MEGAN’S TEMPLE! Instead of going for the pin, Consuela perches herself on the second rope in the corner, her eyes focused on Zakkii who’s trying to get up! MISSILE DROPKICK TO THE CHEST! Zakkii is knocked halfway across the ring! Consuela kip-ups to her feet and now it’s her turn to amp up the crowd!

Brooklyn Crowd: CLEAN THIS HOUSE! CLEAN THIS HOUSE! CLEAN THIS HOUSE!

Gia: You at home heard the fans! Right Barclays is Consuela’s house and she’s about to take out the basura! She starts making her signature sweeping gesture! She might be signalling for Lemon Pledge as she ‘sweeps’ over to Megan! The Storm needs to blow out of there before she gets a lemon scented unhappy ending! She lifts Megan into the electric chair position! It’s about to be over! Megan flips forward as Consuela tries to drive her tinto the mat! SUPERKICK – Consuela blocks! She pulls Megan in! CRUCIFIX! She keeps Megan locked in for the pin!

Ref: OOOONEEEEEEEEEE!

TWWWWWWOOOOOOO!

THREE-

SG1: ZAKKII BREAKS THE PIN! The idol has enough as she grabs Consuela and tosses her out of the ring! The Maid quickly gets up! Zakkii hits the ropes and charges towards Consuela – 360 CORKSCREW PLANCHA! OH MY GOD WHAT HEIGHT! SHE SPUN THROUGH THE AIR WITH A BACKWARDS CORKSCREW AND LANDED ON HER FEET AFTER COLLIDING WITH CONSUELA!

Brooklyn Crowd: YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!

SG1: Zakkii runs and jumps on top of the barricade, screaming to the fans!

Zakkii: Ososugiru kotowa nai!

Gia: I don’t know what the hell she said, but the crowd seems to love it! Zakkii jumps down and climbs to the apron! She waits for Megan Raine to get back on her feet! GURU-GURU WONDERLAND!! Zakkii leaps through the ropes for her signature apron rolling neckbreaker! She jumps to her feet, as the crowd is on fire!

Zakkii: ORA! ORA! ORAAAAAA!!

Gia: Zakkii is feeling it! She knows she’s inching closer to a second Specialist title run!! She picks up Megan and starts firing off with an endless combo of laps and kicks! DANCE FLOOR SHREDDER!!!

Zakkii: ORA! ORA! ORA! ORA! ORA! ORA! ORA! ORS! ORRRRAAAAAA!

Gia: ZAKKII’S POSSESSED!!! SHE’S GIVING MEGAN EVERYTHING SHE’S GOT! VERITAS! VERITAS! SHE ENDED HER COMBO WITH HER SOMERSAULT INVERTED DDT FINISHER!!!! ZAKKII GOES FOR THE COVER!!!!

Ref: OOOOONEEEEEEEEEEEE!

TWWWWWWWWWOOOOOOO!

THHHRRRREEEEEEEEEE-

SG1: CONSUELA BROKE THE PIN! OH MY GOD SHE MADE IT BY THE TIPS OF HER FINGERS, PUSHING ZAKKII OFF IN TIME HOLY COW!

(The entire arena is on their feet in disbelief as Consuela has her face buried in her hands, surprised that she made it. Zakkii’s face is ashen as she looks around, shocked at what just happened.)

SG1: Consuela broke the pin but she needs to find a way to win this match! The time is now! Consuela gets to her feet as Zakkii slowly stands…I don’t like the vibe I’m getting from her…

(Zakkii mutters in Japanese as she looks down, her face growing red with rage)

Gia: There’s a hint of nervousness in Consuela’s eyes, but she’s not backing off either! She pushes Zakkii and opens her arms, inviting the Joshi to come at her! ZAKKII SLAPS CONSUELA ACROSS THE FACE! CONSUELA RETURNS THE GESTURE! ZAKKII! CONSUELA! ZAKKII! CONSUELA! The slaps turns into fists as both women are unleashing hell upon each other! Zakkii whips Cousela who spins and counters flying clothesline – Zakkii counters with a crossface as the two hit the mat- Consuela slips out! Zakkii evades the low dropkick! LAPIS LAZULI! CONSUELA DUCKS UNDER THE TORNADO ROUNDHOUSE KICK! WAIT! ZAKKII DIDN’T STOP HER ROTATION AS SHE SPINS INTO A SWEEP, KNOCKING CONSUELA ON HER BACK!

SG1: That was a great move by Zakkii! She runs back to the corner and climbs to the top! She points to the sky! Then she points at the Specialist Championship ringside and back at Consuela- THE MAID IS ON HER FEET AND JUMPS TO THE SECOND ROPE! She starts firing shots at Zakkii’s dome! Zakkii’s fighting back! She wants to finish Consuela with her Gloria swanton bomb! Consuela’s not having it! Wait! Megan Raine is back on her feet! She’s running to the corner and hits Consuela with a charging forearm to the back! She slams Ava’s head against the turnbuckle! She lifts Consuela top the top and starts hitting Zakkii with a couple of shots to the face!

Gia: What in God’s name is she doing? Is she putting both of them on her shoulders?

SG1: We’ve seen this at King of Elite – when Megan took out Consuela with an Avalanche Flapjack! Are we about to see a double flapjack!?

Gia: She actually has both women on her shoulder as she climbs to the second rope! She’s slowly steadying herself as her foot touches the third rope! She’s going all the way to the top!!?

SG1: A metaphor for her career if you think about it!

Gia: Whatever! She’s insane! She has both feet on the third rope with Zakkii and Consuela over her shoulder! She falls back! DOUBLE AVALANCHE FLAPJACK- WAIT! CONSUELA AND ZAKKII FALL ON THEIR HANDS ON FEET! THE DOUBLE FLAPJACK FAILED! MEGAN SCRAMBLES BACK TO HER FEET! SHE’S CHARGING AT CONSUELA – LA RODILLA DE LA MUERTE!!!!

SG1: MEGAN MATRIX EVADES THE RUNNING KNEE! ZAKKII GETS HIT WITH CONSUELA’S FINISHER! CONSUELA TURNS AROUND – HEAVY RAINE!!! HEAVY RAINE!! SMALL PACKAGE DRIVER! MEGAN COVERS!

Ref: OOOOOOOONEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

TWWWWOOOOOOOOOOO!

THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

(DING! DING! DING!)

(“Studio” by Schoolboy Q plays as Megan rolls off of Consuela, looking exhausted)

Jasmine Peyton: YOUR WINNER BY PINFALL AND STILL YOUR EAW SPECIALIST CHAMPION!!! MEGAN! RAAAIIIINEEE!

Gia: Wow. She actually pulled it off…again.

SG1: Her second match ended in another successful defense! Megan’s quick thinking allowed her to flip the tables on Consuela and make up for her failed attempt at a Double Flapjack!

Gia: I have to give it to her. Megan Raine has overcome all the odds and remains the baddest chick in the Specialist Division! Also, what a display from both Consuela and Zakkii! They both have nothing to be ashamed of!

(Megan takes her title from the ref and raises it in the air. Cori Simmons enters the ring with a mic. Zakkii rolls out of the ring, while Consuela is still unconscious.)

Cori Simmons: Megan Raine! You just successfully defended your championship for a second time! You silenced the doubters and-

(Megan snatches the mic from Cori)

Megan: You’re right Cori! I did silence the doubters! Everyone thought I was a fluke! All these loud mouths sitting at home in their mommy’s basements, typing away with cheeto dust on their fingers! They said I couldn’t do it alone, that I needed Ryan Adams! The Chairman had NOTHING to do with this victory! This was all me! I RUN THIS EMPIRE! I’M THE FACE OF THE SPECIALIST DIVISION!

(The camera zooms in on Megan)

Megan: I took the game by Storm just to X-Men out. (points) Like those two women over there! The Storm has come and is still here! The Storm will continue to rage on…

(Megan raises her title again)

Megan: Into Pain for Pride.

(Megan drops the mic and rolls out the ring. She grins at Zakkii who is leaning against the apron in tears. Megan brushes off her shoulder and starts walking up the ramp with her title raised, surrounded by a mixed reaction.)  

(FIVE MINUTE INTERMISSION – Madonna and Chance the Rapper performs The Iconic Cup’s theme “Iconic” Live on stage!)

(A montage of the rivalry between Aria Jaxon and Chelsea Crowe is shown, including their fights leading up to the Press Conference where Aria tackles Chelsea for the comments she’s made about Aria cashing in on Brody Spark’s legacy. The montage ends with both women standing alone in front of a picture Brody Sparks.)

(“Born to Die” Sidewalks and Skeletons plays as the crowd BOOS as Chelsea Crowe walks out. Chelsea calmy approaches the ring, not giving a damn about the crowd. Chelsea is wearing no makeup and wearing an orange crop top and black jeans.)

Gia Cervantes: Here is the woman who has gotten inside Aria Jaxon’s head these last few weeks. Chelsea Crowe, along with The Crowe’s Nest has made things pretty difficult for Aria Jaxon. Will it be enough to take the Womens Championship, SG?

SG1: I think that Chelsea might be one of Aria’s biggest competition to date. I think Aria’s title reign may be in danger.

(“Formation” by Beyonce plays as the crowd CHEERS as Aria Jaxon comes out with her bedazzled blue shades and jacket! She is wearing a blue “Iconic Cup” tee and some faded light blue jeans. The Womens World Championship rests on her waist.)

SG1: Here comes the champion! Aria Jaxon does not look like a happy camper tonight! Who can blame her? Chelsea Crowe has done what she could to get under her skin!

Gia Cervantes:  Aria needs to remain focused and not let Chelsea’s mind games get to her or her title reign could end right here in Brooklyn!

(Ding! Ding! Ding!)

(The lights shut off as the spotlight focuses on Jasmine Peyton, Aria Jaxon and Chelsea Crowe.)

Jasmine Peyton: This match is a BROOKLYN STREET FIGHT AND IT IS FOR THE WOMENS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP! In this match, this is no disqualification, no countouts. The only way to win the match is by pinfall or submission! Introducing first, representing The Crowe’s Nest, from Auckland, New Zealand, she is “ The Black Heart”, CHHHHHELLLLLLSEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA CROWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

(Chelsea stands up from the corner she sat on and cracks her neck, not paying attention to the fans who are booing the fuck out of her.)

Jasmine Peyton: And her opponent, from Los Angeles, California, she is “The Face of Empire” and the EAW WOMENS WORLD CHAMPION, ARRRRRIIIIIAAAAAAAAA JAAXXXXXXSOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!

(The crowd cheers as Aria does her pose and raises the Womens World Championship up before giving it to the referee.)

Gia Cervantes: This is it! Aria Jaxon, the woman who has held onto the Womens World Championship since Pain for Pride X. Aria has faced multiple challengers–Madison Kaline, Cailin Dillon, Stephanie Matsuda, Astraea Jordan. For the past eight months, Aria has been able to call herself The Face of Empire. Chelsea Crowe, one of the best standouts of the Empire brand. The Leader of the Crowe’s Nest! A woman who has vowed to be the one to dethrone Aria!

SG1:  Chelsea might be Aria’s biggest threat to date. Chelsea’s purpose for going after the Womens Champion is to provide Empire with an honest champion. Chelsea believes that Aria is trying to use the death of Brody Sparks for her own personal gain. Brody was the reason Chelsea had an EAW tryout and has pointed that it wasn’t just Aria with the special connection with Brody, but her as well. Brody trained Chelsea. She helped Chelsea become the woman she is today.

SG1: Up to this point, Chelsea Crowe has been able to up her game. She has managed to get into Aria’s head. She’s not only interfered in Aria’s life, but she has gotten involved in matches of women Aria considers friends with in Nicole Fyre and Andrea Valentine.

Gia Cervantes: Look at Chelsea Crowe, she’s so calm, cool and collected. I feel that if Chelsea is able to remain calm in this Brooklyn Street Fight, she could walk out as the Womens Champion. On the other hand, Aria has proven time after time that these types of matches have brought the best of her. I have no doubt that Aria will come prepared, but Chelsea is in a whole other level. Chelsea will indeed bring out punishment to inflict on Aria.

(The two women approach each other and stand in the middle of the ring. Both women are trash talking to one another. You can easily see the anger in Aria’s face, but Chelsea remains calm and cool as she continues trash talking to Aria.)

Gia Cervantes: You can cut the tension with the knife. Aria is looking this as a way to get revenge on Chelsea for everything that she has done these past few weeks. Chelsea is looking to add the Womens World Championship in her resume. The two women lock up as Chelsea manages to do a wrist lock on Aria! Aria connects with a cartwheel and follows that up with a arm drag, flipping Chelsea over! Chelsea remains sat down as Aria Jaxon connects with a back kick to Chelsea Crowe! Aria gets Chelsea up and whips her to the corner! Chelsea lands on her back and Aria comes running to Chelsea! Aria with a knee to Chelsea’s face!

SG1: No! Chelsea Crowe quickly moves out of the way! Just like Spiderman, Aria is able to catch herself from colliding with the corner by standing on the second row of the turnbuckle! CHELSEA CROWE GRABS ARIA BY HER HAIR AND SLAMS ARIA HEAD FIRST AGAINST THE MAT! Aria holds her head in pain as Chelsea tries to recover for a bit. After Chelsea recovers for a bit, she grabs Aria and gets a headlock on The Queen! Chelsea gets on one knee as she applies the hold! Aria tries to wrap her hand around Chelsea’s back and attempts to pick up her, but Chelsea seems to have a good grasp on Aria!

SG1: CHELSEA CROWE GETS SWEPT UNDERNEATH HER FEET BY ARIA JAXON! ARIA GETS ON TOP OF CHELSEA AND BEGINS TO THROW SOME FISTS! ARIA PICKS UP CHELSEA AND BASHES HER HEAD INTO THE CORNER! ARIA REPEATEDLY BASHES CHELSEA’S HEAD AGAINST THE TURNBUCKLE! Chelsea seems not to be moving. Aria gets on the second row of the turnbuckle as she looks at the crowd of Empire fans who are rallied behind her!

Aria Jaxon: LET’S GET LOUD, BROOKLYN!

Gia Cervantes: Oh no! Aria wasted too much time! Chelsea picks her up in a powerbomb position! Chelsea with a powerbomb!

SG1: NO! ARIA WITH A REVERSE HURRICANRANA! CHELSEA GOES SPINNING AS ARIA FINDS A WAY TO COUNTER WITH A ROLLUP!

ONE! TWO!

Gia Cervantes: CHELSEA COUNTERS WITH HER OWN ROLLUP!

ONE! TWO!

SG1: ARIA KICKS OUT AND ROLLS AWAY FROM CHELSEA! ARIA GETS ON HER KNEES! SHINING WIZARD OUT OF NOWHERE BY CHELSEA! THE QUEEN OF EMPIRE IS DOWN AS CHELSEA CROWE FINDS HER CHANCE TO GET CONTROL OF THIS MATCH UP! Chelsea picks up Aria by the hair and slams her into the corner! Aria slides down with her back against the corner! Chelsea gets her foot and drives it against Aria’s throat!

Gia Cervantes: With each sound of Aria choking, Chelsea laughs and smiles! She is enjoying hear the struggle of air from Aria Jaxon! Chelsea transitions to stomping on Aria’s chest! Chelsea quickly stomps on Aria’s chest. This is all legal people! There is not much our referee can do unless one of these women are not moving. Chelsea backs away as she lets Aria regain her composure. Aria is holding to her throat as she regains some air from her lungs.

Gia Cervantes: Aria uses the rope for assistance to get herself up! ARIA IS MET WITH A GIANT KNEE TO THE JAW BY CHELSEA! CHELSEA RAN AND KNEED ARIA ON THE JAW! ARIA HOLDS HER JAW AS CHELSEA FLIPS ARIA OUT OF THE RING! ARIA LANDS ON THE APRON AS CHELSEA CONNECTS WITH A PUNCH TO ARIA’S FACE! ARIA CONNECTS WITH  PUNCH TO CHELSEA’S FACE! CHELSEA WITH A PUNCH TO ARIA’S FACE! NOW ARIA WITH A PUNCH TO CHELSEA’S FACE! ARIA! CHELSEA! ARIA! CHELSEA! CHELSEA WITH A FOREARM. ARIA FALLS FROM THE APRON!

SG1: WAIT? CHELSEA HELD TO ARIA’S WRIST. CHELSEA HOLDING ON TO ARIA, SO SHE DOESN’T FALL! ARIA IS STUNNED AND CONFUSED AS A SMIRK FORMS ON CHELSEA’S FACE! WHAT IN THE WORLD IS CHELSEA UP TO!

Gia Cervantes:BY ARIA’S WRIST, CHELSEA PULLS ARIA THROUGH THE MIDDLE ROPE! ARIA’S LEGS ARE HANGING FROM THE SECOND ROPE! CHELSEA HAS ARIA IN A HEADLOCK! CHELSEA WITH A HEADLOCK DDT BY THE SECOND ROPE! THIS PLANTS ARIA TO THE GROUND! CHELSEA QUICKLY GOES FOR THE COVER!

ONE! TWO!

SG1: Aria kicks out! Chelsea sighs as she gets up and kicks Aria in the stomach. This makes Aria move and yelp in pain! Chelsea crackles as she begins to step on the right fingers of Aria Jaxon! She might actually end up breaking Aria’s fingers! There is no way the fingers are able to survive with the pressure of Chelsea’s foot!

Chelsea Crowe (sarcastically): Is this your Face of Empire (points at Aria)? Isn’t she beautiful? Wait? What’s that on your face, Aria? Lemme get it out!

Gia Cervantes: OH MY GOD! CHELSEA CROWE IS SMEARING HER BOOT AGAINST ARIA JAXON’S FACE! THE CROWD IS IN COMPLETE UNSATISFACTION! THEY ARE NOT LIKING THIS ONE BIT! CHELSEA IS SMILING AS SHE CONTINUES TO SMEAR HER BOOT AGAINST ARIA’S FOREHEAD! THE CAMERA IS ABLE TO CATCH A LITTLE BLOOD FROM ARIA’S FOREHEAD AND WE HAVE NO REACHED THE POINT OF THE MATCH WHERE THE STREET FIGHT ACTUALLY HAPPENS!

SG1: CHELSEA GRABS ARIA AND PULLS HER TO HER! CHELSEA IS HOLDING ARIA LIKE SHE WERE HER OWN CHILD! CHELSEA USES THE SPIKE CHAINED BRACELET FROM HER RIGHT WRIST AND BASHES ARIA’S HEAD WITH IT! OVER AND OVER AGAIN, ARIA JAXON IS BEING STABBED AND MORE BLOOD BEGINS TO TRICKLE DOWN HER FOREHEAD! THOSE SPIKES ARE NOT YOUR CLICHE HOT TOPIC BRACELETS. THOSE SPIKES CAN ACTUALLY STAB AND RIP YOUR SKIN IF THEY WANTED TOO! CHELSEA PICKS UP ARIA AND THROWS HER OUT OF THE RING! FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THIS MATCH, BOTH COMPETITORS ARE OUT OF THE RING!

SG1: Aria is crawling and looking for a way to gain control of this Brooklyn Street Fight. Chelsea sees that Aria is crawling and Chelsea grabs Aria by the hair and throws her against the timekeeper’s area! Aria Jaxon goes flying to the timekeeper’s area! Aria’s body bends forward as she is trying to balance and prevent herself from going over! Chelsea has provided some time for herself as she scouts around ringside to plot her next move! Chelsea pulls the skirt of the apron and looks underneath the ring for the perfect weapon to use on Aria!

Crowd: WE WANT TABLES! (CLAP) (CLAP) (CLAP) WE WANT TABLES! (CLAP) (CLAP) (CLAP)

Gia Cervantes: By the much satisfaction of the crowd, it seems like Chelsea is pulling out a long wooden table! Aria is still trying to look for a way to recover. Chelsea is taking her time by setting up the legs of the table! She gets one last look at the table and goes over to Aria and gets her! Chelsea tries to pull Aria out of the timekeeper’s barricade, but Aria is not letting go! Chelsea tries to pull Aria again and it works this time as Aria is separated from the barricade!

SG1: CHELSEA IS FACESTRUCK WITH THE RING BELL! ARIA JAXON HITS CHELSEA CROWE WITH THE RING BELL, MAKING CHELSEA FALL BACK! CHELSEA HAS HER HAND ON HER NOSE! THE CAMERA GETS A GOOD LOOK ON CHELSEA WITH A BLOODY NOSE! MAKING CHELSEA BLEED MIGHT BE THE BIGGEST MISTAKE ARIA CAN DO IN THIS MATCH! ARIA STANDS ON TOP OF THE BARRICADE ON THE SIDE OF THE RING! ARIA JAXON GOING HIGH AND KNEES TO THE FACE TO CHELSEA CROWE! ARIA FOLLOWS THAT UP WITH A PUNCH OF FISTS DIRECTLY AT CHELSEA’S FACE!

(Aria Jaxon and Chelsea Crowe approach the barricade as Aria throws Chelsea over before going over herself. The security is yelling and moving everyone with the front row seats to the side, so they can avoid the confrontation between the two women. The fans are cheering in the action being inches away from her.)

SG1: CHELSEA IS ON THE FLOOR AS ARIA IS RALLYING THE CROWD UP! ARIA GETS A STEEL CHAIR AND RAMS IT AGAINST CHELSEA’S RIBS! CHELSEA IS ON ONE KNEE AS ARIA SMACKS THE STEEL CHAIR AT CHELSEA’S BACK!

Gia Cervantes: Chelsea falls to the ground. Aria grabs Chelsea and SNAP DRAGON SUPLEX ON THOSE GROUP OF CHAIRS LEFT BY THE EAW FANS!  ARIA JAXON IS SHOWING HER RUTHLESS SIDE IN BROOKLYN!

(Aria gets on top of the barricade and situates herself as Chelsea begins to get up…)

SG1: Aria Jaxon with a hurricanrana driver! Chelsea spins around before Aria slams Chelsea’s face against the steel chairs! Chelsea is bleeding more from her nose more and her mouth begins to drip some blood as Aria grabs Chelsea and whips her to another group of steel chairs from the last row! Aria is bringing it to Chelsea Crowe! Aria walks over to grab Chelsea by her head and connects with a headbutt!

Gia Cervantes: Chelsea retaliates with a headbutt of her own.  Aria follows that up with another headbutt! Chelsea follows after! Aria! Chelsea! Aria! Chelsea! Aria! Chelsea! That one headbutt by Chelsea Crowe was able to get Aria to stumble back a step!

SG1: OH MY GOD! CHELSEA CROWE JUST THREW A STEEL CHAIR RIGHT AT THE FACE OF ARIA JAXON! ARIA GOES FALLING TO THE OTHER HALF OF THE CROWD WHERE THEIR CHAIRS HAVE NOT BEEN TOUCHED. ARIA FALLS ONTO A ROW OF CHAIRS AS SHE HOLDS HER NOSE! CHELSEA GETS ON TOP OF ONE OF THE CHAIRS ARIA’S HEAD IS ABOVE! CHELSEA BEGINS TO VICIOUSLY STOMP ON ARIA’S HEAD! THE FANS IN BROOKLYN ARE SHOWING THEIR HATRED FOR CHELSEA CROWE! Chelsea grabs Aria by her head and begans to say a couple things that the sound system was not able to pick up! Chelsea gets Aria in position!

Gia Cervantes: EXPLODER SUPLEX ON ARIA JAXON ON THE STEEL CHAIRS BEHIND HER! WITH THE COLLISION, IT SEEMS LIKE ARIA LANDED ON THE CONCRETE FLOOR AS THE CHAIRS PARTED WAYS WHEN ARIA LANDED! ARIA IS CLUTCHING HER BACK IN PAIN! LIKE A RAG DOLL, CHELSEA CROWE PULLS ARIA AWAY BY HER HAIR AND SETS HER DOWN AS SHE GETS A STEEL CHAIR FROM THE GROUND. CHELSEA GETS ARIA UP, UNFOLDS THE STEEL CHAIR AND PLACES ARIA’S HEAD BETWEEN IT.

SG1:  CHELSEA POINTS TO THE WALL ON THE SIDE OF THE TUNNEL! IF CHELSEA IS ABLE TO CONNECT WITH THIS NEXT MOVE, THIS CAN HURT ARIA’S NECK! CHELSEA RUNS WITH ARIA! ARIA CRASHES TOWARDS THE WALL!

Gia Cervantes: ARIA WAS ABLE TO STOP HERSELF IN HER TRACKS BEFORE SHE COLLIDED WITH THE WALL. CHELSEA GETS ARIA AND BENDS HER IN A BRIDGING POSITION! REVERSE DDT WITH THE STEEL CHAIR STILL ON ARIA’S NECK ON THE CONCRETE FLOOR!

SG1: CHELSEA TAKES A STEP FORWARD TO ADMIRE HER WORK! ARIA IS ABLE TO GET ON ALL FOURS! SHE SLOWLY TAKES THE STEEL CHAIR FROM HER NECK AS SHE BEGINS TO COUGH SOME BLOOD TO THE GROUND. THIS MATCH MIGHT BE EXPOSING THAT ARIA’S STRONG SUIT MAY NOT BE STREET FIGHTS! Chelsea takes a few steps back before running and connecting with a punt kick to Aria’s stomach, flipping her onto her back! Chelsea walks forward and grabs Aria by her head!

Gia Cervantes: CHELSEA RAMS ARIA’S HEAD AGAINST THE WALL! I THINK I HEARD SOMETHING CRACK FROM ARIA’S HEAD! I THINK THAT ARIA MIGHT HAVE A CONCUSSION! SHE CANNOT CONTINUE THIS MATCH! THE REFEREE NEEDS TO WAVE THIS OFF! IT’S NOT WORTH IT, ARIA! IT’S NOT WORTH ENDING YOUR CAREER!  ARIA IS WOBBLY ON HER FEET AS SHE TAKES A STEP BACK! CHELSEA GOES TO GET ARIA!

SG1: ARIA WITH A PUNCH TO CHELSEA CROWE! HOW IN THE WORLD DOES ARIA HAVE IT WITHIN HER TO DO THAT? CHELSEA WITH A PUNCH TO ARIA’S FACE! ARIA WITH A PUNCH TO CHELSEA’S FACE! CHELSEA WITH A PUNCH TO ARIA’S FACE! CHELSEA! ARIA! CHELSEA! ARIA! Aria with a side kick! Aria gets on one of the steel chairs! She patiently waits for Chelsea to look at her! ARIA JUMPS!

Gia Cervantes: SLINGBLADE FROM THE STEEL CHAIR ONTO CHELSEA CROWE! Aria is still holding her head back as gets Chelsea and takes her through the tunnel to the backstage! Now, at this point, we have no idea what the hell is happening! All we can do is wait for the camera to finally catch up with Aria and Chelsea.

(The camera finally catches up to Aria Jaxon and Chelsea Crowe exchanging punches at one another backstage. Every talent and personal backstage are moving to the side and away from the action as Aria rams Chelsea against the wall as Chelsea slides down to hold her back in pain.)

(Aria notices the table in front of her as she wiped the papers, pencils and clipboards from the table. Thus, making a mess in the process. Aria grabs Chelsea.)

Gia Cervantes: ARIA JAXON SLAMS CHELSEA CROWE’S FACE ON THE TABLE! ARIA GETS CHELSEA ON THE TABLE! CHELSEA IS TRYING TO GET AWAY FROM THE TABLE, BUT ARIA THROWS A FEW PUNCHES ONTO CHELSEA’S FOREHEAD BEFORE CHELSEA HAS HER ENTIRE BODY ON THE TABLE! ARIA GETS ON THE TABLE AS SHE GRABS CHELSEA UP! I am not positive what is going to come from this next! Aria positions Chelsea in a powerbomb position! It looks like Aria is planning to connect with a powerbomb on the table! Wait! Aria gets on Chelsea’s back and sits right there! Chelsea is shaking her head no!

SG1: ARIA GIVES A WARRIOR CRY AS SHE FLIPS CHELSEA OVER! LA SUNSET ON THE TABLE ARIA WITH THE LEG-TRAP SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB! THE TABLE CRASHES APART AS CHELSEA IS DOWN! ARIA IS IN A SEATED POSITION AS SHE IS BREATHING HEAVILY. ARIA GETS UP! SHE GRABS CHELSEA BY HER HAIR! ARIA WITH A REVERSE STO! SHE FOLLOWS THAT UP WITH A KOJI CLUTCH! 187! ARIA HAS LOCKED IN 187 ON CHELSEA CROWE! CHELSEA IS SCRATCHING AND CLAWING! SHE IS TRYING TO GET HERSELF OUT OF THE MOVE! SHE IS BACKSTAGE. THERE ARE NO ROPES! THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN HELP CHELSEA NOW! CHELSEA CAN TAP, BUT IT WILL NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE! ARIA HAS THE MOVE LOCKED IN AND CHELSEA IS PANICKING!

SG1: CHELSEA NEEDS TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GET OUT OF THIS MOVE BECAUSE SHE FADES AWAY! ARIA WOULD RETAIN THE TITLE! WITH ARIA’S DISLIKE OF CHELSEA, I DO THINK THAT ARIA WOULD MIND THAT! CHELSEA IS USING HER NAILS TO CLAW OUT OF THE 187. CHELSEA IS TRYING TO TURN HER BODY TO THE SIDE, BUT ARIA KEEPS TURN HER BACK INTO THE POSITION FOR THE 187. CHELSEA IS NO ONE TO HELP HER AT THE MOMENT. SHE HAS NOTHING THAT CAN BE USED AS A WAY TO GET HER OUT OF THE SUBMISSION HOLD. THIS IS NOT GOOD GIA! WHAT IS THERE LEFT FOR CHELSEA TO DO?

(Aria cries out in pain as she tries to hold on to the 187.)

Gia Cervantes:  OH MY GOD! ARIA!

SG1: Chelsea Crowe is biting on Aria’s fingers again! This got Chelsea out of the submission hold as Aria checks on her fingers. Not only have those same set of fingers been crushed on by Chelsea’s boot earlier in the match up, but they are now bitten. That is going to leave a mark for sure. Aria is still sat up as she checks on her fingers and recovers her body for a bit. Chelsea backs away from Aria as she is able to get some recovery time and think about her next strategy.

Gia Cervantes:  After she has thought of what to do next, Chelsea gets up as so does Aria! The two women begin throwing a single punch at one another! Chelsea with a punch! Aria with a punch! Chelsea with a punch! Aria with a punch! Aria begins backing away the more intense Chelsea’s punches get!

(Both women stop as soon as they reach the exit door! Chelsea knees Aria in the stomach and kicks the door open with her foot. Chelsea throws Aria out before she exits the backstage area herself.)

(The two women find themselves in the parking lot. There are a few cars in sight, but Chelsea and Aria pay not attention to them at the moment. Aria is crawling trying to find something to her get up, but Chelsea is right behind her to kick her back down.)

SG1: A KICK TO THE RIBS BY CHELSEA CROWE AS ARIA YELLS IN PAIN AS SHE MOVES A LITTLE FURTHER AWAY FROM CHELSEA! CHELSEA GRABS ARIA AND PUNCHES ARIA IN THE FACE! CHELSEA GRABS ARIA BY THE AIR AND WHIPS HER TO A BLACK TOYOTA AS ARIA CLUTCHES HER BACK IN PAIN! CHELSEA SLOWLY APPROACHES ARIA AND BEGINS TO STOMP ON HER NECK. CHELSEA HOLDS ON TO THE FOOT AGAINST ARIA’S NECK AS ARIA IS CHOKING FOR DEAR LIFE! CHELSEA IS LAUGHING AT THE SOUND OF ARIA’S SUFFERING. THIS COULD BE THE LAUGH THAT CHELSEA KNOWS THAT THERE IS GOING TO BE A NEW WOMENS WORLD CHAMPION TONIGHT!

 

SG1: CHELSEA GRABS ARIA AND GETS HER ON TOP OF THE HOOD OF THE CAR! CHELSEA GETS ON TOP OF THE HOOD OF THE CAR AS WELL BY STANDING ON IT. ARIA IS ON HER KNEES AS SHE IS TRYING TO HOLD SOMETHING FOR HER TO STAND UP! THE ONLY THING IN HER SIGHT IS CHELSEA CROWE WHO IS SMIRKING AT ARIA! CHELSEA GIVES A SARCASTIC LITTLE WAVE BEFORE SLAMMING HER FACE AGAINST THE HOOD OF THE CAR! ARIA IS DOWN! CHELSEA GETS ARIA! I AM NOT SURE WHAT CHELSEA HAS IN MIND, BUT THIS CANNOT BE GOOD AT ALL! CHELSEA GETS ARIA IN POSITION! OH MY GOD! CHELSEA DOES NOT DARE TO CONNECT WITH THIS NEXT MOVE! THIS CAN SERIOUSLY HURT ARIA! CHELSEA GETS ARIA IN A GORY LOCK POSITION! SHE HAS ARIA FACING THE WINDSHIELD!

Gia Cervantes: BANKBREAKER ON ARIA JAXON! ARIA JAXON’S FACE JUST SMASHED INTO THE CAR! ARIA IS DEAD! I HATE TO BRING UP DEATH ABOUT MY OWN FAMILY MEMBERS, BUT CHELSEA CROWE JUST CONNECTED WITH A GORY LOCK FLIPPED INTO A FACEBUSTER! SHE JUST SMASHED ARIA’S FACE ONTO THE WINDSHIELD! THE GLASS JUST CRASHED AS ARIA’S HEAD COLLIDED WITH IT! ARIA HAS NOT MOVE SINCE CHELSEA CONNECTED WITH THE MOVE! CHELSEA DUSTS HER HANDS OFF AS SHE SEEMS TO BE PROUD OF HER WORK!

SG1:She goes and grabs Aria from the window. Chelsea pulls her out and you can see the blood trickling from Aria’s forehead to the rest of her face! I cannot remember the last time I have seen Aria a bloody mess. Like I am completely speechless at the moment. Like a ragdoll, Chelsea pulls Aria by the hair and makes her way out of the parking lot, exiting the gate.

(Chelsea drags Aria to the front of the Barclay Center as a group of the EAW fans begin to boo at Chelsea Crowe for what she did to Aria Jaxon. Chelsea could not give a damn about the crowd’s reaction as she is focused on inflicting more punished onto Aria.)

Chelsea Crowe (smacks an unconscious Aria’s head): Hey champ! You got some fans here! There’s even some little girls that want to see their idol retain tonight! You know the ones wearing your blue hair and stylish shades? You don’t know what I am talking about? Well, why don’t I show you?

(Chelsea Crowe approaches a six year old little girl dressed up like Aria Jaxon. Without giving much thought or consideration, Chelsea snatches the blue wig and glasses from the little girl. The little girl forming tears in her eyes while the mother trash talks to Chelsea.)

Gia Cervantes: CHELSEA PAYS NO ATTENTION AS SHE PUTS ON THE BLUE WIG AND SHADES! THE CROWD IS BOOING EVEN MORE AS CHELSEA MOCKS ARIA’S POSE AND MANNERISMS! CHELSEA GRABS ARIA AGAIN AND CONNECTS WITH A NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX AS ARIA’S BACK AND HEAD CRASHES AGAINST THE CONCRETE OUTSIDE OF THE BARCLAY’S CENTER! CHELSEA MOCKS ARIA’S POSE AGAIN AS THE CROWD CONTINUES TO BOO! CHELSEA THEN TAKES OFF THE WIG AND SHADES BEFORE APPROACHING THE LITTLE GIRL, WHO IS BEING HELD BY HER MOTHER!

Chelsea Crowe: There you go, little one!

(The little girl goes to grab her things… but Chelsea pulls back with the stuff. She disrespectfully throws the blue wig behind the little girl and snaps her shades in half with her knee before throwing the pieces on the floor.)

SG1: CHELSEA TURNS AROUND AS–

Gia Cervantes: –CONTRACT KILLER! ARIA JAXON CATCHES CHELSEA CROWE WITH A SUPERKICK TO THE FACE! CHELSEA FALLS TO THE GROUND! ARIA SCREAMS AS SHE GETS THE CROWD FIRED UP! ARIA TRIES TO FIGURE OUT WHAT SHE IS GOING TO DO NEXT.

(Aria Jaxon looks at a muscular built guy with his daughter, who is dressed like Brody Sparks with the blonde hair and blue tips and the blue ring attire and Specialists Championship on her shoulder.)

Aria Jaxon (approaches the guy): I am going to need you to give me a boost.

(The guy says nothing as he gets on a knee and gives Aria a hand up to his shoulder. Aria tries to measure herself and the jump before Chelsea gets up.)

SG1: She tries to get herself balance as she sees Chelsea trying to get back up! Aria from the shoulders of the guy! CALIFORNIA CRUSH ONTO CHELSEA CROWE! ARIA JUST CONNECTED WITH A DIVING CORKSCREW STUNNER ON CHELSEA AS SHE GOES TO THE GROUND ONCE AGAIN! Aria approaches the girl dressed like Brody and her father who helped her connect with the California Crush!

Gia Cervantes: She pulls off her wristband as she gives it to the little girl! She thanks the guy as she goes to the crying little girl who had her stuff destroyed and broken by Chelsea and gives her a hug as the crowd gives her a round of applause as she picks up the blue wig and places it on the little girl’s head. Then, she focuses her attention on Chelsea! Chelsea is crawling on her knees trying to look for a way to get herself back up! Aria is smirking as she plots her next move on Chelsea!

Crowd: ARIA’S GONNA KILL YOU! ARIA’S GONNA KILL YOU! ARIA’S GONNA KILL YOU!

Gia Cervantes: I don’t wanna be biased, but the crowd is chanting what I want Aria to do to Chelsea! Aria grabs Chelsea by the hair and yanks her to the other side of her! Chelsea is on the ground as Aria pulls Chelsea by the air and walks inside the Barclays Center!

(Aria Jaxon pulls Chelsea Crowe by the hair as both women make their way inside the Barclay Arena. Chelsea is trying to break away from Aria’s grasp, but Aria keeps kneeing Chelsea in the stomach as they progress their walk towards the arena where their match is at. As she goes through the tunnel, she is met with positive reaction from the fans!)

Gia Cervantes: Aria walks towards the barricade as she throws Chelsea over it! Aria follows after! Chelsea gets back in the ring as Aria approaches the corner of the ropes! Aria situates herself on the turnbuckle as she connects with double knees at Chelsea’s face! Aria goes for the cover!

ONE! TWO! THR–

SG1: Chelsea Crowe kicks out! How in the hell is anyone managing to kick out at this point in the match! These two have put each other through hell and back! Aria gets up as well as Chelsea! Aria whips Chelsea, but Chelsea counters with her own whip to the corner! Chelsea runs to Aria! Aria connects with an elbow to Chelsea’s face! Chelsea backs away as Aria gets on top of the turnbuckle! What is Aria going for? Wait! Aria from the top rope! SPARKS FLY! TAKING A MOVE OUT OF THE LATE BRODY SPARKS PLAYBOOK!

Gia Cervantes: NO! CHELSEA WAS ABLE TO GRAB ARIA MID AIR! CHELSEA WITH BACKBREAKER! CHELSEA QUICKLY GETS ARIA AS SHE WHIPS HER TO THE ROPES! ARIA GETS ON THE SECOND TURNBUCKLE AS CHELSEA FOLLOWS HER UP THERE! CHELSEA HEADBUTTS ARIA! ARIA HEADBUTTS CHELSEA BACK! CHELSEA WITH A HEADBUTT! ARIA WITH A HEADBUTT! CHELSEA! ARIA! CHELSEA! ARIA! CHELSEA IS LOSING BALANCE ON THE TOP! PEOPLE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT THERE IS THAT TABLE THAT WAS BROUGHT BY CHELSEA IN THE BEGINNING OF THE MATCH! IF ONE OF THEM FALLS ONTO THERE, THIS CAN BE GAME OVER FOR ONE OF THEM! ARIA THROWS A PUNCH WHICH KNOCKS CHELSEA BACK A BIT! CHELSEA THROWS A PUNCH BACK! ARIA THROWS A PUNCH! CHELSEA THROWS A PUNCH! ARIA! CHELSEA! ARIA! CHELSEA!

SG1: HOLY (CENSORED)!THE TABLE BREAKS IN HALF! ARIA JAXON IS IN THE RUBBLE AS CHELSEA CROWE RELAXES ON THE TOP TURNBUCKLE. ARIA IS NOT MOVING! I THINK THAT SHE MIGHT NEED HELP! CHELSEA GETS DOWN FROM THE TURNBUCKLE AND EXITS THE RING! SHE GOES AND GETS ARIA! CHELSEA SLAMS ARIA AGAINST THE RING APRON AS SHE ROLLS ARIA BACK INTO THE RING! ARIA IS DOWN! I THINK CHELSEA HAS DONE ENOUGH DAMAGE.

ONE! TWO! THREE!

SG1: CHELSEA CROWE DID IT! NO! WAIT! THE REFEREE IS TELLING CHELSEA THAT ARIA MOVED HER SHOULDER IN THE LAST SECOND! CHELSEA IS LOOKING PISSED OFF AT THE REFEREE! SHE IS SMACKING HER HANDS THREE TIMES. SHE IS TRYING TO CONVINCE THE REFEREE THAT SHE SHOULD BE THE WOMENS WORLD CHAMPION NOW!

Gia Cervantes: ANGRILY, SHE GETS ON THE TOP ROPE! I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT CHELSEA IS ABOUT TO DO, BUT IT IS NOT GOING TO BE GOOD! ARIA IS SLOWLY GETTING BACK UP!  CHELSEA FROM THE TOP TURNBUCKLE, SPARKS FLY!

SG1:CHELSEA CROWE CONNECTED WITH SPARKS FLY ON ARIA JAXON! OH MY GOD! I THINK SHE JUST USED ARIA’S OWN TRIBUTE TO BRODY SPARKS AGAINST HER! ARIA IS DOWN! OH MY GOD! CHELSEA GOES FOR THE COVER!

ONE!

Gia Cervantes: NOT LIKE THIS! NO!

TWO!

SG1: THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT HAPPY RIGHT NOW!

THREE!

Gia Cervantes and SG1: OH MY GOD! THIS CANNOT BE HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!

Gia Cervantes: ARIA JAXON KICKS OUT! ARIA KICKED OUT IN THE LAST SECOND! SHE KICKED OUT AS CHELSEA IS GRABBING HER OWN HAIR IN FRUSTRATION! SHE THOUGHT THAT THIS WAS GOING TO BE ENOUGH! SHE THOUGHT THIS WAS GOING TO BE IT, BUT ARIA JAXON IS SHOWING WHY SHE HAS BEEN WOMENS WORLD CHAMPION THESE LAST EIGHT MONTHS!

Chelsea Crowe: END IT, ARIA! JUST LIKE BRODY WOULD HAVE WANTED YOU TOO! END IT! THIS IS NOT WORTH IT ANYMORE! THE MORE THIS MATCH PROGRESSES, THE MORE YOU’RE GOING TO GET HURT! YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE DOING THESE PEOPLE A FAVOR BY HONORING BRODY WITH THE COLOR BLUE AND WITH SPARKS FLY, BUT YOU ARE JUST LIKE EVERY SINGLE WOMAN ON EMPIRE! USING HER DEATH FOR YOUR OWN SELFISH GAIN! YOU NEVER GAVE A DAMN ABOUT BRODY UNTIL SHE DIED! I WAS THE SISTER THAT BRODY HAD WHEN YOU WERE BUSY GETTING YOUR ASS BEAT IN DEVELOPMENTAL AGAINST HER. I HAVE BEEN HONORING BRODY WITH EVERYTHING I HAVE DONE! SHE HAS MADE ME THE WOMAN I AM TODAY! NOW, I AM GOING TO DO HER THE FAVOR AND WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP SHE WOULD HAVE WON IF SHE WERE ALIVE!

Gia Cervantes: Chelsea looking to end this match. She is poised and looking at Aria who is trying to crawl herself back to her feet. Chelsea smirks knowing that she has Aria right where she wants her! Chelsea bounces to the ropes! Aria in a crawling position! Chelsea bounces and CHELSEA SMILES, THE KNEE DROP FACE BUSTER! ARIA’S HEAD GOES BOUNCING! CHELSEA GOES FOR THE COVER!

SG1:WE ARE THREE SECONDS AWAY FROM CROWNING A NEW WOMENS WORLD CHAMPION!

ONE! TWO! THREE!!

Gia Cervantes: A new Womens World Champion has been crowned in Brooklyn! Chelsea Crowe has done it! Chelsea did the unthinkable! I cannot believe we are witnessing this!

SG1: No, Gia! Aria has her foot on the bottom rope! The referee is telling the time keeper that it was a two count! Chelsea Crowe is looking at Aria in shock! She is looking at the referee with the most devastated look on her face! Chelsea believed she had the match in the bag! She had put Aria through so much emotion and torture that it should have given her the title there. Chelsea had a strategy approaching tonight. It should have been successful if that count was a three. It’s almost like the confident and calm demeanor has been whipped away from Chelsea Crowe!

Gia Cervantes: Chelsea is on wobbly feet as she tries to get Aria up. It seems like she has a few choice words to say to Aria–

SG1: ARIA WITH A GIANT SLAP ACROSS CHELSEA’S FACE! ARIA FOLLOWS THAT UP WITH A KNEE AS SHE ROLLS UP CHELSEA! ARIA GONNA STEAL A VICTORY RIGHT HERE!

ONE! TWO! THREE!

Gia Cervantes: Aria retains her title!

SG1: No! Chelsea kicks out! Chelsea and Aria get up gets– CONTRACT KILLER! ARIA WITH ANOTHER CONTRACT KILLER ON CHELSEA CROWE! ARIA WAITS FOR CHELSEA TO GET UP! CHELSEA HAS NO CLUE WHAT IS GOING TO HIT HER! ARIA WITH A DOUBLE KNEE BACKBREAKER! CHELSEA FLIPS AROUND AS ARIA CONNECTS WITH THE 187!

Gia Cervantes: NO, SG1!

Gia Cervantes: ARIA HAS THE ILLUMINATION! ARIA HAS THE RINGS OF SATURN LOCKED IN ON CHELSEA CROWE! NORMALLY, WE USUALLY SEE ARIA GOING FOR A SPARKS FLY LIKE SHE DID AT ROAD TO REDEMPTION BACK IN DECEMBER, BUT WE HAVE NEVER SEE HER GOING FOR THE ILLUMINATION! THIS WAS BRODY SPARKS’ GO-TO SUBMISSION MOVE! CHELSEA IS SCRATCHING AND CLAWING TO THE BOTTOM ROPE, BUT ARIA HAS CHELSEA STUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING! THERE IS NOWHERE FOR CHELSEA TO GO! ARIA HAS THE ILLUMINATION LOCKED ON CHELSEA CROWE! CHELSEA IS SCREAMING AS ARIA BENDS CHELSEA’S BODY BACK, APPLYING MORE PRESSURE TO THE ILLUMINATION! CHELSEA, JUST TAP! BE SMART AND TAP!

SG1: Chelsea Crowe has nowhere to go! Chelsea seems to be fading away! She refuses to tap! She refuses to walk out of Brooklyn without the Womens World Championship! Aria is in tears as she is begging for Chelsea Crowe to tap out! Aria Jaxon will not die! She will not let Chelsea be the one to dethrone her! Chelsea is fading! She is not even bothering to move! This does not stop Aria from applying more pressure on the Illumination!

Gia Cervantes: SHE TAPS! SHE TAPS! CHELSEA CROWE TAPS OUT! THE MATCH IS OVER!

(Ding! Ding! Ding!)

(“Formation plays as Aria Jaxon lies there as the referee rests the Womens World Championship at her stomach Aria is breathing heavily as she looks up the ceiling while holding the Womens World Championship to her chest.)

Jasmine Peyton: The winner of the match and STILL THE EAW WOMENS WORLD CHAMPION, ARRRRRRRIIIIAAAAAAAA JAAXXXXOOONNNNNNNNNN!!

SG1: What a match! Holy crap, Gia! Like this match was a rollercoaster ride! Both women were willing to kill one another for the sake of being Womens World Champion!

Gia Cervantes: For a second, I thought we were going to see Chelsea Crowe become champion! There was so many occasions where she could have ended the match, but Aria just kept hanging on! So many great moments in this match!

(Replays of Chelsea being struck by the timekeeper’s bell by Aria, the Bankbreaker on the windshield to Aria, Aria using the muscular guy to connect with the California Crush, Chelsea connecting with Sparks Fly and Aria connecting with the Illumination and making Chelsea tap out.)

(The camera shows Aria Jaxon on her knees in the center of the ring as she points to the sky mouthing “this is for you” to Brody before kissing the heavens. Then, it shows Chelsea trying to walk herself away from ringside, but falls as the referee tries to help her, but Chelsea shoves the referee to the side and wobbles up the ramp.)

(As the broadcast fades back in, many of the audience members are already on their feet and buzzing in excitement, evidently anticipating what they know is coming next. The camera sweeps over the crowd before transitioning to focus just off to the side of the commentary table, where the silver gleaming Iconic Cup sits atop a pedestal and a plushy turquoise cushion. A lone blue light shines down from the rafters onto the trophy. The camera then switches angles to focus on SG1 and Gia Cervantes sitting at the commentary table. The viewers at home see a succession of images of in-ring action from both nights of the inaugural Vixens Cup tournament.)

SG1: In three years, this Empire-centric accolade has had just as many names. First it was the Vixens Cup, and its creation was another sign of how far the women of this company had really come. That first tournament offered the women of EAW their chance to have their first supershow.

(Then, the viewers at home see footage from last year’s Grand Rampage-style match at Malicious Intentions to crown the Empire Cup winner, culminating with Cameron Ella Ava last eliminating April Song.)

Gia Cervantes: Then, it was the Empire Cup, renamed to show that we’d taken yet another step into the future. Named for the Empire we all overlook now, the exciting and revolutionary brand we all call home.

SG1: All in the name of progress, it’s now named after one of the women who made it her business to help push Empire into the future. Brody Sparks was one of the most electric, passionate, and original competitors to ever grace an EAW ring. She brought her absolute best to Empire each and every time she stepped in between those ropes. The woman who takes home that trophy will have an opportunity to help move Empire forward just like she did.

 

Gia Cervantes: The athletes on this brand, they’ve been “Vixens”, they’re now Elitists, but only the one who wins all the marbles tonight can really call herself an ICON. Without further ado, let’s keep it moving!

(“Black or White” — Michael Jackson hits to a big ovation as Flannery McCoy strides out onto the stage in a black pantsuit, with pops of color provided by a turquoise gemstone necklace and turquoise heels. One hand waves excitedly at the crowd as she descends the ramp, and the other holds her lucky beat-up baseball cap.)

Jasmine Peyton: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the General Manager of Thursday Night Empire…FLANNERYYYYYYYY MCCOOOOOOOOOOY!

SG1: Other than Cup names, you know something else Empire’s had more than one of since it’s been around?

Gia Cervantes: General Managers?

SG1: Oh yeah. Empire’s seen its share. Cleopatra came in with the program, she was ousted on the Pain for Pride pre-show by Tarah Nova, who went on to kick off her own turbulent tenure as head honcho before being removed herself. Since stepping into the role, Flannery’s done everything she could to prove she’s a capable leader.

Gia Cervantes: She’s been in EAW a while so she can appreciate the history of what a show like this means, and I’d like to assume that’s why she’s out here.

(Flannery signals for a microphone as her music dies down.)

Flannery McCoy: Nights like this remind me of why I’m so honored to have this job. I’m so proud to serve as Empire’s General Manager, and to have been trusted with looking over an entire locker room of strong women.

(She nods as the crowd begins to applaud, pausing briefly before continuing.)

Flannery McCoy: Every day that Empire exists means that history is being made, and I don’t just like to sit in my office observing as it happens. I like to be right here in the middle of it all — and I hope Jasmine doesn’t mind a little company while we announce the field of the Iconic Eight?

(Jasmine smiles and mouths “Of course!” as the two take their places side-by-side in the center of the ring.)

Jasmine Peyton: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is your MAIN EVENT of the evening…AND IT IS A GAUNTLET MATCH FOR THE ICONIC CUP!

(The cheers kick up momentarily, causing her to pause briefly before continuing.)

Jasmine Peyton: The rules are as follows: the field of eight competitors will all be introduced and stand at ringside. Once they’re all present, Flannery will draw the first two names from her hat. Those two women will compete in the first phase of the gauntlet, after which the winner will return to ringside and the loser must head to the back. This will continue until four women have been eliminated and four remain. Then names will be picked out of the hat and two matches will cut four competitors into two. The final two will compete in a standard singles match with the winner will win the 2018 Iconic Cup!

Flannery McCoy: Everybody got that?

(The crowd cheers wildly in response, prompting Flannery to smile. Soon thereafter, “Red Fraction” — Mell hits to extremely loud boos. A scowling Revy stomps out onto the stage, surveying the audience with an annoyed look on her face and flipping off members of the crowd as she walks down the aisle.)

Jasmine Peyton: IIIIIIIINTRODUCING FIRST! From Houston, Texas…weighing in at 126 pounds…SHE IS “THE ACE OF SPADES”…REVYYYYYYYYYYYY!

Gia Cervantes: She’s generally unpleasant, she’s aggressive, and…she’d probably fail a field sobriety test right now. Revy’s style and way of approaching things definitely isn’t for everyone, but she’s never let that bother her.

SG1: This girl has the potential to bust a lot of people’s brackets tonight and screw up a lot of predictions. She’s cagey when she gets thrown into big match scenarios like this, and that could ultimately help her out. She’s one to watch out for.

(“I Just Can’t Wait to be King” — Suburban Legends hits to a sizable pop. An enthusiastic Savannah Sunshine bounds out into view, holding a small hand-held turquoise cooler in one hand. As she makes her way down to the ring, she reaches into the cooler and tosses ice cream bars out into the crowd.)

Flannery McCoy: NEXT! From Candy Land by way of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania…weighing in at 140 pounds…THIS IS “DOUBLE S”…SAVANNAAAAAAAAAAAH SUUUUUUUUUUNSHINE!

Gia Cervantes: Savannah came onto Empire with a ton of momentum, and almost from day one, I think people were pointing to her as a sterling example of what our next breakout star should look like. She’s had a pretty rough go of it lately, though.

SG1: Who could forget Drunk Savannah? If she wants to stand a chance tonight, she needs to tap into the girl who was putting on all those spirited performances at Road to Redemption, Territorial Invasion, and during Empress of Elite. Nothing like a pressure cooker match like this one to bring out the best in someone…or make them crumble. It’s her choice.

(“Search and Destroy” — Skunk Anansie prompts a loud but divided reaction from the crowd. A focused-looking Daisy Thrash walks out onto the stage, not paying the audience much mind as she walks down the ramp.)

Jasmine Peyton: NOW MAKING HER WAY TO THE RING! From Seattle, Washington…weighing in at 115 pounds…“THE BOMBSHELL”…DAISYYYYYYYYY THRAAAAAAAAAAASH!

Gia Cervantes: Daisy Thrash came into EAW as a much more altruistic wrestler. After some hardships, now she’s made it her mission to turn the entire Empire status quo on its head. Wouldn’t the ultimate middle finger to “the establishment” be if the girl who marches to the beat of her own drum somehow wins The Iconic Cup?

SG1: Sounds cool enough on paper, but it’s easier said than done. Daisy’s shown insanely bright flashes of promise thus far into her career, but she hasn’t had that one defining showing yet. This might be the one.

(“Zinnia’s Battle Theme” hits, and the mixed reaction persists ahead of April Song’s impending arrival. She is stone-faced as she makes her way down the aisle at a brisk pace.)

Flannery McCoy: NEXT! From Colorado Springs, Colorado…weighing in at 120 pounds…SHE IS “THE KILLER BEE”…APRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIL SOOOOOOOOOOONG!

Gia Cervantes: A renewed serious streak and the backing of a couple of new allies have forced people to sit up and take notice of just how big of a threat April Song really is, not that I believe anyone forgot in the first place.

SG1: She’s been especially aggressive lately. Couple that with her technical skill and submission acumen, and we could possibly be looking at the most dangerous woman in this match.

(“Chase” — Batta hits to an overwhelmingly positive reaction, and Azumi Goto looks confident as she makes her way out onto the stage. She cracks her neck to either side before beginning to roll her wrists, continuing to do so as she walks down the aisle.)

Jasmine Peyton: NEXT! From Yonabaru, Okinawa, Japan…weighing in at 127 pounds…SHE IS “SEKAI NO ACE”…AZUMIIIIIIIIII GOTOOOOOOOOOOO!

Gia Cervantes: Azumi has come so close on so many occasions to really shattering her own personal glass ceiling and winning a big-ticket match here in EAW. The good thing about her is that she gets up, dusts herself off, and always tries again after facing disappointment, but how long can she keep doing that for?

SG1: Listening to what Azumi had to say coming into this match, it sounds like she’s got tunnel vision. It sounds as if she’s refusing to accept a second-place finish again, and that’s the kind of focus and aggression that she’ll need to keep her head above water in this gauntlet.

(“Heathens” — Twenty One Pilots hits to a near-deafening ovation as Tarah Nova emerges and takes her place on the stage. She nods in approval of the crowd’s reaction as she flings the hood of her leather jacket off her head and descends the ramp with outstretched arms.)

Flannery McCoy: NOW MAKING HER WAY TO THE RING! From Detroit, Michigan…weighing in at 121 pounds…EAW HALL OF FAMER…“THE MURDER CITY SIREN”…TARAAAAAAAAAAAAH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOVA!

Gia Cervantes: This woman needs no introduction, at this point. She’s damn near done it all and won it all, and The Iconic Cup would be another accomplishment to add to her illustrious trophy case. Just the fact that she’s present in this match is a game-changer.

SG1: Here’s to hoping nobody in this match is getting psyched out over just the idea of being in there with a Hall of Famer.

(“Roll With Me” — Charli XCX hits and the fanatical cheers continue as a smiling Andrea Valentine walks out onto the stage. She stands at the top of the ramp with her hands on her hips before blowing a kiss to the crowd, high-fiving fans along the barricade as she makes her way to the ring.)

Jasmine Peyton: NEXT! From Orlando, Florida…weighing in at 110 pounds…THIS IS “THE HEART OF EMPIRE”…ANDREAAAAAAAA VAAAAAAAAAALENTINE!

Gia Cervantes: I’m just gonna go ahead and say it; this girl is the fastest-rising star on Empire today. She has everything that it takes to make it to the top. With in-ring skill taking precedent, we already know she can go. Her outings against Aria, Stephanie, and Consuela are all the proof needed to back that up.

SG1: We’ve learned that this girl has heart and she’s almost impossible to keep down. That will come in handy during a match like this where it’s so important to hang in there for a long time and go the distance. Will Andrea’s willpower carry her all the way to the end? That’s what we’re waiting to see.

(“Kill Jill (Instrumental)” — Big Boi hits to a not so surprising mixed reaction as a steely-eyed Stephanie Matsuda walks out onto the stage. Her trademark bandana covers most of her face and beneath her standard hoodie is a custom C9 Brooklyn Nets jersey with gear to match. She holds up her hands to show off her C9 logo on the palms of her gloves as she walks down the aisle.)

Flannery McCoy: FINALLY! From RIGHT HERE in Brooklyn, New York…weighing in at 132 pounds…THIS IS “THE WAR QUEEN”…STEPHANIEEEEEEEEE MATSUUUUUUUUUUDA!

Gia Cervantes: Sounds like New York City is welcoming their hometown girl with welcome arms! Stephanie’s charted an interesting path since Bloodletter and her loss to Aria. After being so close to the Women’s World title and having it slip through her fingers, something tells me she’s used that to amp herself up and remind herself that she can’t come up short again.

SG1: Attacking Aria and Tarah, her endeavors with the Zaibatsu, this new more ruthless attitude…this is a woman on a warpath and she’s not to be fucked with. We saw the blow that Bloodletter dealt to Matsuda’s psyche. If we’re being honest, she can’t handle another tough loss like that. Winning tonight is the ultimate act of self-preservation for her.

(As Matsuda concludes her entrance, she joins the rest of the participants at ringside and all eight women surround the ring. They look up at Flannery, who holds her baseball cap out for all to see.)

Flannery McCoy: So this…it’s made a couple of appearances before. This beat-up old hat holds a lot of significance for me. I wore it as a little kid when my team won the Little League World Series. To the incredible women standing around this ring, I wish you the best of luck. I trust my lucky hat will bestow the same luck on you and on this gauntlet that it always has on me. Now, I’ll shuffle these names around…

(Flannery shakes the hat around for a few moments before reaching in and pulling out two slips of paper.)

Flannery McCoy: Our first match will be between…TARAH NOVA AND BROOKLYN’S OWN STEPHANIE MATSUDA!

(The crowd breaks into uproarious applause as both women glare at each other from opposite sides surrounding the ring. Stephanie sheds her signature hoodie and Tarah tosses her leather jacket aside as they climb into the ring.)

Gia Cervantes: Holy crap, what a high note to start off on! These two have always had something of an up-and-down relationship, but it seems as if whatever goodwill was there vanished after The Awards Show! Now they have a chance to hash this out!

SG1: Kicking things off with a grudge match is one way to set the tone for the whole gauntlet. This is gonna be good.

Jesse Carlton: RING THE BELL!

(DING! DING! DING!)

Gia Cervantes: HERE WE GOOOOOOOOO! There’s a ton of bad blood between these two and that’s plain to see as they waste ZERO time running headlong at each other! They’re on a collision course and now they’ve each got one hand hooked around the other’s neck, using the other to rain down a hellish flurry of closed-handed shots on the other woman’s head and face! They’re as evenly matched as can be right now, and it doesn’t look like either one is giving an inch! On second thought — I might’ve been wrong! Nova fires off one, two, THREE heavy, unanswered right hands, ringing Stephanie’s bell! Tarah finishes off the sequence with a headbutt that floors the Zaibatsu member! To say the Hall of Famer has come out guns blazing would be a MASSIVE understatement!

SG1: Matsuda is reeling after that headbutt, and as she’s quickly pulling herself back to her feet, Nova intervenes by knotting both hands in her hair and forcing her into the nearest corner back-first! She wastes little time folding Matsuda in half with a vicious battering ram! She drives all the air out of Stephanie’s sails with that shoulder to the midsection! The former Specialists Champ is folded over in the corner, but Nova’s still continuing the onslaught! She forces Matsuda to stand straight up and Tarah licks the palm of her hand before firing away with a nasty chop to the collarbone of Stephanie! She follows it up with another! And another! Matsuda hasn’t been able to catch anything even resembling a breather since this opening bout started, and you’ve got to believe this has everything to do with the tensions that have been brewing for weeks now between these two — even further back, if you want to trace the dislike between these two to its genesis. There’s a hint of a smile on Tarah’s face as she takes a few steps back, sizing Matsuda up as she does so. Look out, she’s charging back into the corner…NO! Nova was looking for a running knee lift to the cornered Stephanie, but she sidesteps that attack right in the nick of time! She leaves Nova to slam her knee into the turnbuckles, and you can tell she’s in a world of hurt now by the way she’s clutching that afflicted knee!

Gia Cervantes: Uh oh, Stephanie could smell blood in the water now! There’s a massive target on that leg, and she’s wasting no time capitalizing on it by flinging Nova away from her with a dragon screw leg whip. Tarah rolls over to bring herself up to a knee, trying to shake out that other afflicted knee. CAREFUL! While she’s down there, Matsuda runs in and NAILS Nova with a basement dropkick! She flops back onto the mat and Stephanie wastes little time going for our first cover!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE!

SG1: Nova throws that shoulder up WITH FERVOR just after a count of one. Stephanie moves right back in and returns Tarah’s earlier favor by latching onto the Detroit native’s hair to try and yank her up to her feet…BAD IDEA! Being in close quarters turns out to be a bad idea! Tarah interlaces her fingers behind Stephanie’s head and drops down into a variation of a jawbreaker! The hometown girl goes staggering backwards into the ropes and Tarah staggers up to her feet! She glares at Stephanie and charges toward her…A MASSIVE CLOTHESLINE TAKES BOTH WOMEN OVER THE TOP ROPE AND THE TUMBLE DOWN TO THE ARENA FLOOR! With one of Tarah’s legs not being at 100%, I don’t think that was the wisest idea, but she’s thrown caution to the wind here! There’s so much bad blood here that she’s more concerned with turning this into a demolition derby and getting even with Matsuda! The other members of The Iconic Eight are on standby now as Jesse leans over the ropes to check on both women. They’re beginning to stir, but she’s got no choice but to begin this count. Will we see our first elimination via countout?

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOO!

Gia Cervantes: Once again, Tarah is trying to shake out her leg as she gets up to her feet and Stephanie follows soon after. The hand she has on the small of her back tells me that she must have hit the floor back-first after that sickening tumble. OH! Tarah throws the first punch, clocking Cloud right in the face with a right hand! Matsuda answers with a heinous forearm shot, knocking Nova loopy! And she’s not done! She follows it up by putting a hand on the back of Tarah’s head and slamming her face against the ring apron for good measure!

Jesse Carlton: THREEEEEEEEE! FOUUUUUUUUUUUR!

SG1: Nova slumps forward a bit, but before Stephanie can do anything else, she throws an elbow back into the face of Matsuda! Once again, she sends the JET alumnus staggering, this time into the barricade!

Jesse Carlton: FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE! SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIX!

Gia Cervantes: Tarah plucks Stephanie from her place against the barrier and repeats her battering ram feat, this time driving the spine of Matsuda into the edge of the ring apron! HOLY CRAP! Stephanie slumps down to a seated position on the arena floor and Nova climbs up onto the apron, rolling under the bottom rope and re-entering the ring.

Jesse Carlton: SEVENNNNNNNNNN! EIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!

SG1: Okay, one woman’s in, one woman’s still out! Just a second ago, it looked like Tarah had made a huge mistake by unintentionally taking this to the outside, but it might’ve paid dividends for her! She’s leaning against the ropes now, her eyes fixed on Matsuda as she drags herself up to a vertical base and makes a move for the apron.

Jesse Carlton: NIIIIIIIIIIIIINE! TE–

Gia Cervantes: SHE’S IN! At the last possible second, Cloud is back in…AND TARAH IS ALLLLLLLLLL OVER HER! She drops down into a mounted position over Stephanie and starts raining down a hellish succession of punches and elbows! There’s some 12-6 elbows! Nova is lighting Matsuda up right now, and all she can really do is try to cover up! Nova rolls out of the mount and keeps the pressure on, using that good knee to start unleashing grounded knee strikes on the ribs of Stephanie! Holy hell! How is Stephanie going to…? NEVER MIND! Matsuda rolls over and clocks Tarah with a right hand out of instinct! No frills, nothing too crazy, but it created space and that was all she needed! Nova rolls onto her side, trying to shake out the cobwebs. Cloud looks to be doing the same as she gets up to her feet. She stomps over to Tarah and rolls Nova over onto her stomach! SHE’S GOT THE STRAIGHT SHOOTER LOCKED IN, AND TARAH IS SCREAMING IN PAIN! THE FIGURE-FOUR SHARPSHOOTER IS YANKING ON THAT AFFLICTED KNEE IN THE WORST WAY, AND IT LOOKS LIKE CLOUD IS REALLY SITTING INTO THAT SUBMISSION HOLD! IS SHE GOING TO FORCE NOVA TO TAP OUT?! TARAH IS GRITTING HER TEETH AND SCRATCHING AND CLAWING AT THE MAT! SHE’S DOING ANYTHING SHE CAN TO TRY AND INCH CLOSER TO THE ROPES! CLOUD IS STILL YANKING ON THAT SUBMISSION HOLD WITH ALL SHE’S GOT, AND TARAH HAS MANAGED TO GET HER FOREARMS UNDERNEATH HER! SHE’S CRAWLING TOWARD THE ROPES AND DRAGGING CLOUD RIGHT ALONG WITH HER! SHE’S STILL MOVING! STILL CRAWLING! ALMOST THERE…SHE’S GOT IT! SHE LATCHES ONTO THAT BOTTOM ROPE WITH ONE HAND AND CLOUD’S GOT NO CHOICE BUT TO RELENT! CLOUD BACKS OFF, IF ONLY FOR A SECOND! SHE PULLS THE RAVEN-HAIRED MICHIGAN NATIVE UP TO HER FEET! SHE SPINS HER AROUND…AND SHE’S TRYING TO CROSS THE ARMS! STEPHANIE IS ABOUT TO TRY AND GO FOR CLOUD CITY!

SG1: NO! NOVA’S NOT LETTING IT HAPPEN! SHE’S FIGHTING IT! SHE THROWS HER HEAD BACK INTO THE BRIDGE OF STEPHANIE’S NOSE, STUNNING HER! NOW SHE *LITERALLY* STUNS HER, FLINGING AN ARM AROUND THE BACK OF MATSUDA’S NECK AND DROPPING DOWN INTO A STUNNER COUNTER! JACOB SENN WHO? WEAPON X WHO? CLOUD’S HAD HER JAW JACKED AND NOVA CRAWLS INTO THE COVER! SHE HOOKS THE LEG!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOO!

Gia Cervantes: That was definitely the break Tarah needed, but not enough to end this first match and send Matsuda packing! It’s understandably taking her more time to get to her feet now. All the while, the Hall of Famer is staring a hole through Stephanie as she finally drags herself up to her feet! Stephanie doesn’t look like she’s all there! Tarah swings…KJB! SPINNING BACKHAND SLAP FROM NOVA! WHAT? NO, MATSUDA DUCKS OUT OF THE WAY! STEPHANIE RESPONDS BY SWINGING FOR A SPINNING HEEL KICK! TARAH DUCKS, TOO! BAM! FINALLY! TARAH HITS PAYDIRT WITH YAHTZEE! THE SUPERKICK WITH THE GOOD LEG DROPS CLOUD LIKE A SACK OF POTATOES! ANOTHER COVER FROM TARAH!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOO!

SG1: Matsuda throws the shoulder up! She’s trying to lurch up to a seated position, but all the while Tarah is getting to her feet…ANOTHER YAHTZEE TO THE SEATED MATSUDA! NOVA DROPS RIGHT BACK DOWN AND HOOKS THE LEG AGAIN!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOO! THREEEEEEE–

Gia Cervantes: CLOUD LIVES, AND THIS PLACE IS FEELING IT! THEY’RE SPLIT RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE! Tarah looks down at Stephanie with almost a look of disgust on her face. You can see the wheels in her head turning as she stoops and peels Matsuda from the canvas…SHE’S TRYING TO HEAVE STEPHANIE UP ONTO HER SHOULDERS! I DON’T THINK IT’S THE WISEST IDEA WITH HER HAVING ONE GOOD LEG, BUT IF TARAH NAILS THE MCP, THEN THIS MATCH IS OVER FOR SURE! STEPHANIE IS SLUNG OVER NOVA’S SHOULDERS!

SG1: SHE CAN’T DO IT! THE BAD KNEE OF NOVA GIVES OUT AND CRUMBLES UNDER THE WEIGHT OF HOLDING UP HER OPPONENT! THE STILL-LOOPY STEPHANIE STRIKES! SHE NAILS THE KNEELING NOVA WITH A YAKUZA KICK TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD! TARAH FALLS FACE-FIRST ONTO THE MAT AND MATSUDA SEIZES HER! SHE PULLS TARAH UP TO HER FEET AND CROSSES THE ARMS! IT’S TAKE TWO ON CLOUD CITY! CLOUD HEAVES NOVA UP AND OVER WITH THE STRAIGHTJACKET GERMAN! BARCLAYS CENTER HAS BEEN WHIPPED INTO A FRENZY! NOVA’S SHOULDERS ARE DOWN AND JESSE DROPS DOWN FOR THE COUNT!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOO! THREEEEEEEEEEEE!

(Stephanie looks satisfied as she dusts her hands, mouthing the words “one down” as she returns to ringside.)

Jasmine Peyton: TARAH NOVA HAS BEEN ELIMINATED!

Gia Cervantes: This is as shocking of an early elimination as anyone could’ve banked on! Tarah likely looked like a favorite just based on her history and accomplishments alone, but she’s the first woman with her hopes dashed! An absolute tour de force performance from Stephanie takes out a major threat in the early goings, Jesus! The good news for her is that she’s got some time to rest before she’s got to duke it out with her next opponent. I can only IMAGINE the kind of match that Flannery’s hat is going to set the stage for next.

 

(Flannery rifles around in her baseball cap once again before pulling out two more slips of paper. She examines them for a couple of seconds before nodding.)

 

Flannery McCoy: Our second match will feature…APRIL SONG AND SAVANNAH SUNSHINE!

(There’s a huge pop from the crowd as both women climb up onto the apron and step into the ring.)

SG1: Ohhhhhh, this one is gonna be interesting. Perpetual underdog, the always-spunky and never-say-die Savannah Sunshine going toe-to-toe with a former Specialists Champion in the form of April Song! It’s all enthusiasm and grit versus a virtual walking encyclopedia of chain wrestling and joint manipulation.

(DING! DING! DING!)

Gia Cervantes: Match two, let’s go! Both women are circling each other, with Savannah’s hands up cautiously as she anticipates April’s next move. Song, on the other hand, looks…almost relaxed. She’s toying with Sunshine now! She keeps moving as if she’s about to shoot for the single-leg takedown, prompting Savannah to jump back a bit, and she’s got this girl on edge! Song shoots for the double-leg takedown at last, and she’s already about to try to roll it over into a Boston crab…NO! Sunshine plants both feet in the chest of Song and kicks her off! April rolls away and quickly springs back onto her feet, as does Savannah. Song takes off running toward the Philly native…and is IMMEDIATELY taken down with a beautiful arm drag from Sunshine! I’m going to go out on a limb and say that caught April off-guard! She gets up to her feet once again, and is in close quarters with Savannah, who has her hands up again! Song moves to initiate a rough collar-and-elbow tie-up! Looks like Savannah is getting the best of April here in this power struggle! She starts to overtake April, pushing her backwards, and the former Specialists Champion is bent into a bridge. Savannah shoves both of her arms downward with great force, causing Song to break the bridge. The Airman’s shoulders are already down!

SG1: Before Jesse can even get into position to count, April pops back up into the bridge. Her quickness and flexibility are on full display here. Song drops down onto her back for a split second and swiftly plants a foot in Savannah’s midsection before taking Empire’s resident sugar addict overhead with a tomoe nage Judo throw! An excellent way of creating some much-needed space. Both women spring up onto their feet lightning fast and April is quicker on the draw! She swings for the roundhouse, and her foot connects with Savannah’s temple! She’s down! April moves into the corner!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEE!

Gia Cervantes: Sunshine powers out just after one, but she’s already had her bell rung and this match hasn’t even been going on very long! Savannah is still plucky as hell, though, so we can’t count her out just yet! She gets up to her feet, but April is quicker on the draw, beginning to light up the legs of Savannah with a barrage of painful-looking shoot kicks! She’s trying to knot up the hamstrings of Sunshine and force the happy-go-lucky grappler down to a kneeling position! April swings again! And again! And again! And…OOP! Savannah catches the leg! She uses that leg to reel Song in before heaving her up and over with a GORGEOUS exploder suplex! She turns The Killer Bee inside out, and it doesn’t look like Savannah is done! She plucks April from the canvas before driving her right down with an EMPHATIC STO backbreaker! SHEESH! Savannah follows it right up with a spine-jarring STO! What an offensive sequence from Sunshine as she puts the exclamation point on it by diving right into the lateral press!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEE!

SG1: Song throws the shoulder up with gusto just after the count of one! Savannah keeps the pressure on, though, as she pulls April up from the mat and Irish whips her into the corner! April’s back smacks into the turnbuckles, and she doesn’t even have a chance to blink before Savannah charges in right after her, flattening Song with a stinger splash! Sunshine turns her back to April before taking the Colorado native’s head under her arm, and it looks like she’s about to nail a running bulldog from out of the corner! Savannah takes off running…SONG SHOVES HER OFF! April uses Savannah’s own momentum against her and shoves Sunshine off before she can execute the bulldog, causing Savannah to fall ass-first onto the mat in a seated position! BANG! A VIOLENT penalty kick to the back of Savannah, who recoils in pain! Just like that, April has the upper hand again! Song shoves Sunshine down into a cover, with her forearm over Savannah’s face!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOO!

Gia Cervantes: The pain from that penalty kick might still have her reeling, but Savannah had the wherewithal to kick out just after the conclusion of the two-count! April gets up and makes a beeline for the ropes, stepping out onto the apron and keeping her eyes focused on Savannah as she watches Sunshine pull herself up to a vertical base. As soon as Savannah is steady on her feet, April fliiiiiiiiiies! A springboard crossbody back into the ring onto Sunshine…SHE’S CAUGHT! SOMETHING OF A SHOW OF STRENGTH FROM SUNSHINE AS SHE CATCHES SONG MID-MANEUVER AND SPINS HER OUT INTO A SPINNING SIDE SLAM BACKBREAKER! MY GOODNESS! SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR LUMBAR VERTEBRAE, APRIL! SAVANNAH SCURRIES AND HOOKS THE LEG!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOO!

SG1: We’re not quite done! Big ups to Savannah for pulling that out of virtually nowhere and putting herself in a position to control this match, but it takes a lot more than that to put down April Song! Savannah swallows roughly as she looks down at April and then glances over her shoulder at the nearest corner. April is barely stirring, looking like she’s got half a mind to try and roll onto her side and appraise the state of her back. Sunshine quickly makes her way over to the corner, and that’s got this crowd buzzing! Savannah scales the turnbuckles and I’m wondering what she’s got in mind! She’s…LOOK OUT! APRIL SURGES UP TO HER FEET AND THROWS HERSELF INTO THE CORNER, SHAKING THE ROPES AND CAUSING SAVANNAH TO FALL INTO A SEATED POSITION ON THE TOP TURNBUCKLE! I DON’T KNOW WHAT SAVANNAH HAD IN MIND, BUT APRIL STOPPED IT DEAD IN ITS TRACKS! APRIL HERSELF CLIMBS UP THERE AND TAKES SAVANNAH’S HEAD UNDER HER ARM! WHAT THE HELL?!

GIA CERVANTES: SWAN SONG FROM THE TOP ROPE! ALLLLLLLL THE WAY FROM THE HIGH RENT DISTRICT, APRIL DROPS SAVANNAH ON THE NAPE OF HER NECK AND THE BACK OF HER HEAD WITH THAT SMALL PACKAGE DRIVER — AND SHE’S HOLDING ON TIGHT AFTER BOTH WOMEN HAVE SMACKED INTO THE CANVAS! SAVANNAH’S SHOULDERS ARE DOWN! THIS HAS TO BE IT!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOO! THREEEEEEEEEE!

Jasmine Peyton: SAVANNAH SUNSHINE HAS BEEN ELIMINATED!

April Song (off-mic): Easy operation.

SG1: April’s tone says it all! At some times during the course of that match, you could call it a back-and-forth affair, but evidently, she planned for this! She was sure it was her match to win from the beginning. We can all credit Savannah for a spirited performance, but the match mostly served to be an impressive first performance tonight for April. She started off on a high note and confidently returns to ringside as our GM keeps things moving right along.

(Once again, Flannery moves the remaining slips of paper around inside of her hat for a few moments before pulling out two more slips. The crowd buzzes excitedly as they wait to hear the names of those participating in the next match.)

Flannery McCoy: Our next clash will feature…DAISY THRASH AND REVY!

(Overwhelming boos persist as Revy and Daisy Thrash climb up onto the apron on opposite sides of the ring and step over the bottom rope. Daisy cracks her neck to either side and Revy dons an irrepressible scowl.)

Gia Cervantes: Both of these athletes are brash, vocal, unapologetic, and say what they want to say when they feel like saying it. There’s about to be a whoooooole lot of attitude contained in that ring during this next match.

(DING! DING! DING!)

SG1: LOOK OUT! REVY IS ALREADY LOOKING TO CLEAN DAISY’S CLOCK! SHE THROWS A BRUISING FOREARM–

Gia Cervantes: DAISY DUCKS! REVY HITS THE ROPES BEHIND THRASH AND HURDLES BACK TOWARD HER, RIGHT BACK INTO A WAITING KNEE LIFT FROM THE SEATTLE NATIVE! A KNEE TO THE GUT FLIPS REVY OVER AND SENDS HER AND SENDS HER CRASHING DOWN ONTO THE CANVAS! I THINK SHE MIGHT BE STUNNED!

SG1: With one arm covering her stomach, Revy rolls toward the ropes, already looking for a reprieve. Sometimes, blitzing your opponent right at the bell gives you an early advantage, but for Revy? It blew up in her face! The Texan rolls under the bottom rope and out onto the apron, but Daisy isn’t having it! She steps out onto the apron to force Revy back into the ring…SHE WAS PLAYING POSSUM! Revy gets up to her feet and grabs onto the arm of Thrash! OUCH! Revy jumps down onto the floor and hits an arm wringer on Thrash! DAISY GETS SLAMMED FACE-FIRST INTO THE APRON AND HAS HER ARM YANKED DOWN OVER THE APRON ALL IN ONE GO! IT LOOKED LIKE REVY WAS TRYING TO RUN, BUT REALLY SHE WAS GETTING DAISY CLOSE ENOUGH TO STRIKE! AS MUCH AS SHE DRINKS, IT’S A MIRACLE HER HEAD WAS CLEAR ENOUGH TO THINK THAT THROUGH!

Gia Cervantes: Daisy’s got a bloody lip and a hurt arm now for her troubles, and you have to believe this is the best case scenario for Revy! She slips under the bottom rope and re-enters the ring, and drags Daisy right along with her! You can tell she wants this to be over quick as she scrambles into the cover and stacks Thrash up!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEE!

SG1: Look, look! Revy’s got her feet on the ropes! I don’t think Jesse sees!

Jesse Carlton: TWOOOOOOOOOO! THREEEEEEEEEE!

Gia Cervantes: WHAT?

SG1: Already?!

Jasmine Peyton: DAISY THRASH HAS BEEN ELIMINATED!

Gia Cervantes: Well, you said you got the impression that Revy wanted to get her first match out of the way quickly, and it seems like you were right! Initially, her playing dirty was well within the confines of the rules, but putting her feet on the ropes definitely wasn’t! Poor Daisy gets sent packing before this match even really got going!

(A grinning Revy slips under the bottom rope and exits the ring, patting herself on the back as she leans against the ring apron).

SG1: You know what they say — if the ref didn’t see it, it didn’t happen! Revy’s grinning up a storm as she punches her ticket to the next phase with relative ease. She’s working smarter, not harder. The way Daisy’s grasping at her arm, though, it’s got me wondering what we’re dealing with here. Just some pain and discomfort or something as serious as a dislocation of the elbow or shoulder?

Gia Cervantes: I hope not, for her sake. Regardless of how I felt about the end of this match, the stage for our next one is already set. Our last two members of The Iconic Eight, Andrea Valentine and Azumi Goto, are about to step into the ring to find out who will be the last woman to advance to phase two!

(DING! DING! DING!)

SG1: The final match of the opening round, and it’s pitting the promising upstart against one of Empire’s hungriest and longest-tenured performers! Both women circle each other cautiously, waiting to see who’s going to make the first move. Azumi lunges like she’s all ready to lock-up with Andrea, but she fakes her out and moves right into a rear waistlock. She’s trying to execute a German suplex right out of the gate, but Andrea responds in kind by hooking the leg and throwing an elbow back into the temple of Azumi! Valentine is quick to latch onto the arm of Goto to go and Irish whip her into the nearest corner, but Azumi plants her feet and reverses it, whipping Andrea into the corner instead! Goto rushes right in, immediately nailing the cornered Andrea with a forearm strike that catches the Floridian right across the bridge of the nose! Valentine might be a bit dazed here, but Goto is unrelenting as she connects now with a sharp knee strike to the gut of the cornered Andrea! We’re not dealing with just a couple of strikes here, either. It looks like Azumi is about to launch into a full-on barrage as she nails a palm strike that causes Andrea’s head to snap back violently! Valentine is reeling as Azumi takes it upon herself to take a few steps back, and you can tell she’s really feeling herself right now! SHE BURSTS FORWARD! YAKUZA KICK TO THE CORNERED VALENTINE!

Gia Cervantes: NOPE! Andrea averts disaster at the last second, using a combat roll evasion to get out of the way! Azumi’s leg is hung up on the top rope, and Andrea’s about to capitalize on that misstep! She quickly makes her way back into the corner and leaps up onto the top turnbuckle! SHE JUMPS…DIVING SITOUT CLOTHESLINE TO GOTO! Azumi didn’t have ANYWHERE to go and she took every bit of that clothesline as Valentine absolutely flattens her here in the early goings! Azumi is down and Andrea hooks the leg!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE!

SG1: Azumi still has plenty of fight left in her and that shoulder comes up off the mat with authority just after one! Both girls spring back up onto their feet, but Andrea gets to her feet slightly quicker. She motions for Azumi to come at her and Goto obliges, running right at Valentine…who takes her over with a jumping snapmare! No, I spoke too soon, Goto lands on her feet! She pivots and doubles the Orlando native over with a side kick to the midsection that prompts Andrea to grab her ribs. OUCH! A quick bicycle toe kick to the face causes Andrea to shoot back up straight, if only for a second before she drops down to a knee. As she stands back up, Goto rushes in and lays her out with a NASTY lariat! She’s upended Andrea completely, and now it’s her turn to go for a cover! Goto moves into the lateral press, and here’s Jesse with the count!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEE!

Gia Cervantes: There’s the kickout from Andrea! Azumi’s not giving her any bit of leeway as she forces Valentine up into a seated position and slaps on a lotus lock! Off the top of my head, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Azumi bust out this particular submission move before, but as we all know, she’s super adept when it comes to things of this nature. It might not be in her everyday repertoire, but it could work just the same! She’s got Valentine’s arms trapped and Jesse is on standby in case Goto forces a submission here! She doesn’t look like she’s got any plans to let up! Andrea is defiantly shaking her head no every time Jesse double-checks if she wants to submit, and she’d have to do it verbally! Her hands aren’t free to tap out! This poor girl’s night could end prematurely–HANG ON! LIKELY OUT OF PURE INSTINCT, ANDREA SHOVES HERSELF BACKWARDS, AND IN THE PROCESS, SHE DOES THE SAME TO AZUMI! THE FORMER CONTROL IN THE VAULT WINNER’S SHOULDERS ARE DOWN! IF SHE KEEPS THIS LOCKED IN MUCH LONGER, SHE LOSES! JESSE IS ADMINISTERING THE COUNT!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOO!

SG1: Azumi shoves Andrea off of her to kick out of that pin! That was a smart move on Valentine’s part, putting Goto in a position where she didn’t have any choice but to release the hold. The Floridian drags herself up to a knee, rolling her shoulders and trying to get some blood flowing back into her arms…AND LOOK OUT, HERE COMES AZUMI! ANDREA’S NONE THE WISER! A VILE-LOOKING DISCUS ELBOW SMASH CONNECTS WITH THE BACK OF VALENTINE’S HEAD, F*CKING HELL! VALENTINE’S BEEN SUDDENLY DROPPED AND GOTO SCRAMBLES INTO ANOTHER COVER IN QUICK FASHION!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOO!

Gia Cervantes: Andrea kicks out yet again! No small feat considering she just had her clock cleaned. She looks a little worse for wear now as Azumi pops up to her feet and backpedals before rushing back in! There’s a running senton to Andrea…NO! The Orlando native wisely gets the knees up at the last second! Goto rears up into a seated position, and clearly her back is in a great deal of pain right now! Valentine wills herself up to her feet and pulls Azumi right along with her. She stands slightly in front of Goto and reaches up behind her…SNAPMARE DRIVER! SHE SPIKES AZUMI SOMETHING FIERCE, AND THIS WAS THE BIT OF OFFENSE ANDREA’S BEEN WAITING FOR! SHE ROLLS GOTO OVER AND HOOKS THE LEG!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOOO!

SG1: Azumi stays alive and–HOLD ON, HOLD ON! ANDREA HAS THE WHEREWITHAL TO IMMEDIATELY MOVE FROM THE FAILED PIN ATTEMPT INTO A CROSS ARMBREAKER! THIS IS THE KIND OF STUFF WE’D EXPECT FROM AZUMI, REALLY! AZUMI IS FLAILING AROUND AND TRYING TO USE HER FREE ARM TO BREAK THE HOLD, BUT ANDREA IS HANGING ON FOR DEAR LIFE! A SUBMISSION SLAPPED ON MORE OUT OF DESPERATION THAN ANYTHING ELSE COULD BE WHAT ENDS THIS MATCH! ANDREA IS DOING EVERYTHING IN HER POWER TO HYPEREXTEND THAT ELBOW JOINT, BUT AZUMI IS HANGING TOUGH! JESSE IS HOVERING NEARBY, READY TO CALL FOR THE BELL IF NEED BE, BUT GOTO IS STILL DETERMINED TO FIGHT HER WAY OUT! SHE’S REFUSING TO GIVE IN! SHE LOOKS LIKE SHE’S TRYING TO GET HER FEET UNDERNEATH HER AND IT WORKS! SHE PUSHES UP AND FORCES THE SHOULDERS OF ANDREA DOWN! VALENTINE IS STACKED UP! IT’S THE SECOND TIME TONIGHT WE’VE SEEN SOMEONE IN A “LET GO OR GET PINNED” PREDICAMENT! HERE’S THE COUNT!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOO! THREEEEEEEE–

Gia Cervantes: Andrea lets go at the last possible second! To say she was cutting it close would be an understatement. Props to Azumi for hanging on long enough to find a way out, but could the damage already be done? Goto is trying to get some feeling in that arm again as Valentine gets back to her feet. She stoops to yank Azumi up as well and goes to whip Goto into the corner, but Azumi plants her feet and reverses the momentum, whipping Andrea into the corner instead! She bursts forward, and there’s a MASSIVE lariat to the cornered Valentine! Bum arm be damned, Azumi is hanging in there and bringing the woods to Andrea! OUCH! There’s an impactful knee strike to the stomach of Valentine, and that doubles her over! Azumi’s not done, either! She fires away with another! And another! This patented rapid succession of knee strikes to the cornered Valentine is definitely going to wear out The Heart of Empire! OH! I might’ve spoken too soon, as Valentine gets a reprieve in the form of hitting Azumi with a sickening elbow smash to the temple! Simple, but effective. Azumi’s forced to back off, and Andrea runs right at her–NO! A PALM STRIKE RIGHT ON THE BUTTON STUNS ANDREA AND STOPS HER RIGHT IN HER TRACKS! The Orlando native falls and I can see the wheels turning in Azumi’s head. She uses that good arm to pull Andrea up and take her head underneath her arm…NO WAY! SHE’S LIFTING VALENTINE UP WITH THE ONE ARM! HERE COMES A THROWBACK, BOYS AND GIRLS! RED HEART! GOTO DRILLS VALENTINE RIGHT ON TOP OF HER HEAD WITH THAT LIFTING SINGLE-UNDERHOOK DDT! AZUMI DUG DOWN DEEP FOR THAT ONE, AND IT COULD PAY DIVIDENDS! SHE HOOKS BOTH OF ANDREA’S LEGS!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOO! THREEEEEEEEEE!

SG1: IT’S NOT ENOUGH! Azumi looks shocked! I’m sure she thought that was a surefire three-count. She drags herself up to her feet, looking down at Andrea who’s barely stirring. Azumi is amping herself up as she backs into the corner and continues to stare straight at Valentine as she woozily staggers up to a vertical base. AZUMI SIGNALS FOR THE END! ANDREA’S STEADY ON HER FEET, AND GOTO TAKES OFF! KAMIGOYEEEEEEE!

Gia Cervantes: I DON’T THINK SO! I DON’T KNOW HOW, BUT ANDREA LEAPFROGS OVER AZUMI! GOTO TURNS AROUND FRANTICALLY AND IS IMMEDIATELY MET BY A BOOT TO THE STOMACH FROM ANDREA! VALENTINE LEAPS UP INTO THE WHEELBARROW BODYSCISSORS…ATOMIC BLONDE, ON THE MONEY! AZUMI TOOK EVERY BIT OF THAT WHEELBARROW STUNNER, AND THIS COULD SPELL THE END OF THIS MATCH! SHE ROLLS AZUMI OVER AND HOOKS BOTH LEGS!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOOO! THREEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Jasmine Peyton: AZUMI GOTO HAS BEEN ELIMINATED!

SG1: Saying that business picked up toward the end of that match doesn’t completely cover it! You have to feel for Azumi, who pulled out all the stops here and fought back from nearly having her arm ripped off to stay in it until the very end. Andrea absorbed everything that a world-class striker and grappler could dish out, and she eventually finished the job.

(Andrea waits for a disappointed and frustrated Azumi to stand. She nods in Azumi’s direction before raising her good arm to a huge round of fanfare from the crowd.)

Gia Cervantes: I can’t think of a better way to end our first phase of matches than with a stellar display of sportsmanship from these two spirited competitors. Our field of eight has been cut into four, and now the stakes are about to be raised even higher as the final four prepare to jump back into the crucible to give us our last two women standing. Let’s see who the boss lady’s got for our first match of phase two!

(Flannery goes back to swishing the pieces of paper around in her hat. After a few moment, she pulls out two slips of paper and inspects them closely.)

Flannery McCoy: Please return to the ring…APRIL SONG AND STEPHANIE MATSUDA!

(Matsuda and Song shoot venomous looks at each other as they waste little time getting back into the ring and getting in each other’s faces.)

SG1: The dislike between these two has been VERY well-documented! For those that didn’t keep up with the pre-match war of words this past week, these two have REALLY come to loathe each other, and it’d be a major feather in the cap of whichever woman manages to prevail here.

Gia Cervantes: April’s vowed that there’s nothing any other member of The Iconic Eight could do to stop her from taking tonight’s grand prize. Stephanie is determined to grab the brass ring and pay homage to both her former sister-in-arms and her girlfriend’s sister all in one go. This has all the potential to be a knockdown dragout. Whoever makes it out might not be in any condition to compete in the finals!

(DING! DING! DING!)

SG1: THEY’RE THROWING HANDS RIGHT FROM THE OPENING BELL! Shades of Cloud’s earlier match with the now-axed Tarah as these two technicians are trading some of the hardest strikes I’ve ever seen in the center of the ring! There’s a WICKED forearm strike from April that catches Stephanie right across the bridge of the nose! Matsuda staggers backward a bit, taking a second to absorb the blow before rearing back and answering back with an insane forearm of her own! And there’s a well-placed chop from Song! Stephanie tries to up the ante by trying to clobber April with a spinning backfist…BUT APRIL HAD IT TELEGRAPHED! SONG SEIZES THE ARM OF MATSUDA AND IS FORCING HER DOWN INTO A FUJIWARA ARMBAR! ONLY MOMENTS INTO THIS MATCH AND APRIL’S ALREADY UNLEASHING THE SUBMISSIONS! MATSUDA SHOULD BE PANICKING! THE TALLER OF THE TWO EXTENDS A LEG AND FORTUNATELY, SHE’S CLOSE ENOUGH TO FORCE A ROPE BREAK! Stephanie is scowling now as she scrambles up to her feet, holding onto her arm briefly. April almost forced this whole thing to end before it really began! April tilts her head to the side in amusement. She hops from foot to foot before lunging in and going for a double-leg takedown, but Stephanie’s refusing to be moved! She puts a halt to that with a clubbing blow to the back of Song. She yanks the Colorado native up by a handful of her hair before hooking her up for a suplex! Stephanie is showcasing something of a power game here by heaving Song up and holding her there in that delayed vertical suplex hold! Having all the blood rush to her head will definitely end up spelling trouble for April. THERE SHE GOES, TRYING TO FIGHT HER WAY OUT! Song starts drilling Matsuda with punches to the top of her head, and she slips out of the hometown girl’s grip and drops down behind her. She’s trying to counter with a swinging neckbreaker, but Stephanie spins out of the hold mid-rotation and drives a boot into the gut of Song! She wraps a hand around the neck of April before driving her into the canvas with a mat-shaking STO! She keeps the grip on the throat as she holds Song down for the cover!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE!

Gia Cervantes: April throws the shoulder up just after one, but Cloud clearly isn’t fazed! I think she knew April wouldn’t be dispatched of too fast, and that’s probably why she opted for that not-super-effective cover. She can’t end the match yet, but she sure as hell can make sure she stays in control until she gets that chance! Stephanie still has April by the neck as she reels her in before lifting her up into a two-handed chokelift! Uh, quick question, partner…how many matches have you seen end via strangulation in your career?

SG1: Not nearly enough.

Gia Cervantes: …

SG1: Back to the action! Stephanie might be trying to choke the life out of April here, but she’s not going down easily, as we already said! She’s hammering away at the hands and arms of Matsuda, to no avail! KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE HANDS OF APRIL! She slips an arm around the neck of Stephanie and slaps on a guillotine choke! Now she’s the one trying to choke out her opponent! She wraps the bodyscissors around the midsection of Stephanie for good measure, and she’s wrenching that hold as tight as she possibly can! Matsuda is clubbing away at the sides and back of Song in an attempt to free herself, but it’s not working. Stephanie’s now trying to pry the legs of the Airman away, but that’s not working either. Matsuda takes a blind step forward before she starts full-on running into the nearest corner! She drives April back-first into the turnbuckles and forces Song to release the guillotine! Excellent ring-awareness or a lucky break? You decide!

Gia Cervantes: Both, for all we know! Stephanie reaches out and pulls April in before heaving her up and over with a BEAUTIFUL release overhead belly-to-belly suplex! April’s been turned inside out! Matsuda makes a beeline for her, but OH! The downed Song momentarily hobbles Matsuda with a kick to the knee! Song gets up to a kneeling position as well and in a flash, she flips Matsuda with a fireman’s carry takeover and seamlessly transitions into a pin! Here comes the count!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEE!

SG1: Matsuda powers out just after one! No time for her to rejoice, however, because April surges up to her feet and starts laying into her with vicious stomps! She’s just letting Stephanie have it right now and–STEPHANIE CATCHES THE FOOT! She hangs on tight and sweeps April’s supporting leg out from underneath her before she can blink. The Brooklyn native gets up to her feet and pulls April right along with her before flipping her over with a snapmare. She takes a few steps back before following it up with a sliding forearm to the spine of Song! She steps on April’s afflicted back as she walks over her, standing in front of Song before laying her out now with a Yakuza kick to the face! What a sequence! Matsuda is in control as she goes for yet another cover!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOO!

Gia Cervantes: It’s not enough! Song stays alive after the two-count. She’s right back down, though, and Stephanie dashes over toward the ropes! SHE FLIIIIIIIIIES! SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT! NO! NOBODY’S HOME! APRIL ROLLS TOWARD THE ROPES! She looms over Stephanie as Matsuda tries dragging herself up to her feet, and April doubles her over with a FIERCE body blow before reeling her in! WIDOWMAKER! That inverted stomp facebreaker floors Cloud and April crawls into the cover!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOO!

SG1: Another kickout from Matsuda! Song’s eyes are on Stephanie as she watches her opponent rise up to her feet. She watches her carefully, she swings…ANOTHER SPINNING BACKFIST! NOPE! Cloud ducked this time! April spins back around and ends up right in Matsuda’s clutches! There’s a Saito suplex, and Song might be dazed now! April rolls over and pulls herself up to her feet, but Stephanie’s beaten her to the punch! She runs headlong in Song’s direction…LAST SURPRISE! That patented sling blade slams Song down on the back of her head and Stephanie scrambles into the pin attempt!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOO!

Gia Cervantes: We’re still going! Stephanie gets to her feet and leans down over April, who — HANG ON, HANG ON! OUT OF NOWHERE, SONG YANKS MATSUDA DOWN BY THE ARM AND SLAPS ON PROFESSIONAL DISPOSAL! HOLY SH*T, THAT WAS QUICK! CLOUD IS FLAILING HER ARMS AROUND AND LOOKING FOR A WAY OUT! THIS IS WHERE APRIL IS SO DANGEROUS, DOWN ON THE MAT WITH HER BONAFIDE MATCH-ENDER LOCKED IN! CLOUD IS TRAPPED! SHE ROLLS OVER ONTO ALL FOURS, STILL MANAGING TO DRAG APRIL ALONG FOR THE RIDE, AND THE KILLER BEE’S HOLD IS AS TIGHT AS EVER! STEPHANIE’S GONNA START TO FADE SOON IF SHE DOESN’T GET APRIL OFF OF HER! THIS BROOKLYN CLOUD IS CLAPPING AND STOMPING UP A STORM TRYING TO WILL STEPHANIE TO HER FEET! MATSUDA GETS HER FEET UNDERNEATH HER AND SHE SOMEHOW MANAGES TO GET ALL THE WAY UP, BUT SHE’S STILL GOT APRIL ON HER BACK! SHE REACHES BACK AND PUTS AN ARM BEHIND SONG’S NECK AND — OH MY! CLOUD DROPS DOWN INTO A BACKPACK STUNNER! THAT’S ONE WAY TO GET APRIL OFF OF YOU, I GUESS!

SG1: Stephanie managed to do what not many others have! She fought her way out of Professional Disposal! She’s sitting down with one hand on her neck trying to correct her breathing now, so she can’t even capitalize on the effects of that backpack stunner! She’d better look alive, though, because April is trying to get up! She’s up now, and Matsuda is up to a knee! April swings for a roundhouse! NO! Cloud catches the leg AND ROLLS THROUGH INTO A KNEEBAR! APRIL IS DOING EVERYTHING SHE POSSIBLY CAN TO BREAK FREE, BUT MATSUDA MIGHT BE HANGING TOUGH! SHE STARTS KICKING AWAY WITH THE FREE LEG, AND SHE MANAGES TO ESCAPE! Song’s trying to hobble up to a vertical base, doing her best not to put too much weight on that leg that Cloud tried to work over! OH F*CK! C-TRIGGER! CLOUD RUNS RIGHT THROUGH APRIL WITH A HEINOUS BICYCLE KNEE LIFT THAT WOULD MAKE EVEN JAMIE O’HARA SWEAT! APRIL COULD BE DONE FOR!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOO! THREEEEEEEEEEEE!

Gia Cervantes: Stephanie thought she had it! She’s had about enough of April as she stomps over to the corner and climbs up to the top turnbuckle! Just that alone is enough to bring this whole Brooklyn crowd to its feet! They have a pretty good idea of what’s coming next! Matsuda is perched on the top rope! SHE SOOOOOOOOARS! THERE’S THE CLOUD 9, DRIVING ALL THE AIR OUT OF APRIL! THAT HAS TO BE IT! STEPHANIE COVERS!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOOO! THREEEEEEEEEEEE!

Jasmine Peyton: APRIL SONG HAS BEEN ELIMINATED!

SG1: The Barclays Center is coming unglued! Stephanie Matsuda has locked down her place in the finals, despite the best efforts of tough opposition like April Song! She’s going to need to savor every single second of Andrea and Revy’s match and use it to recharge, because she’s not quite done yet!

Gia Cervantes: Speaking of which, Revy and Miss Valentine are climbing into the ring now! Revy definitely had an easier go of things in her previous match so she’s a lot fresher than Andrea is. Andrea was put through her paces by Azumi Goto, and she’s gonna have to do a hell of a job potentially fighting off fatigue if she wants to get through this match!

(DING! DING! DING!)

SG1: Time to find out who’s meeting Stephanie in the finals! Let’s — ALREADY?! REVY WANTS TO NOTCH TWO QUICK WINS TONIGHT, BUT SHE’S NOT TOYING WITH ANDREA LIKE SHE DID WITH DAISY! SHE DOUBLES THE BLONDE OVER WITH A STIFF KICK TO THE MIDSECTION! RECOIL INCOMING!

Gia Cervantes: ANDREA ISN’T HAVING IT! SHE SHOVES REVY OFF OF HER MID-MOVE! She’s not worried, though! She immediately swings for a spinning heel kick! Valentine ducks! Revy’s back is to her and before the Texan can turn around, Andrea leaps up onto her shoulders! SHE GRABS AHOLD OF REVY’S ARMS AND ROLLS FORWARD! SHE HOOKS REVY’S LEGS WITH HER AND BENDS UPWARD INTO A BRIDGE! DOUBLE WRIST-CLUTCH FLIP INTO A BRIDGING CRADLE PIN! ANDREA’S GOT REVY TIED UP HERE! HER SHOULDERS ARE DOWN AND HERE COMES THE COUNT!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOO! THREEEEEEEEE!

Jasmine Peyton: REVY HAS BEEN ELIMINATED!

(An incensed Revy is seen trying to appeal the count, arguing about whether or not that was really a three-count.)

SG1: The tables turned pretty quickly! Revy was looking to do as little work as possible tonight. It’s a sound strategy, *if* it actually works, but she couldn’t pull one over on Andrea!

Gia Cervantes: Revy came in hot, trying to nail her finisher pretty much the second the bell rang, but Andrea had something for her! In a flash, the woman leading the charge of Empire’s future finds herself with a tremendous opportunity! So much for Stephanie getting to take a prolonged break. She’s got to get back in the ring RIGHT NOW!

SG1: Both of these women have had a long night, and it’s about to get a whole lot longer!

(Andrea turns to face Stephanie as she re-enters the ring, both of them trying to correct their ragged breathing as they move toward the center of the mat.)

Gia Cervantes: The temperature just dropped ten degrees in here, it seems. There’s a chill in the air and I think the gravity of the situation just set in for both of these women. For all they’ve dealt with so far, the REAL struggle is about to start. This is for all the marbles. Sadly for one of them, someone’s done all that fighting just to get this far and come up short.

SG1: It’s experience versus exuberance, an established threat and grizzled, maybe jaded veteran versus as impressive of a newcomer as I’ve seen in quite some time. Either Stephanie Matsuda latches onto that validation she’s been craving for some time, or Andrea Valentine’s monster rookie year marches on.

(DING! DING! DING!)

Crowd: LET’S GO CLOUD! LET’S GO CLOUD! LET’S GO CLOUD!

Crowd: AN-DRE-A! AN-DRE-A! AN-DRE-A!

Gia Cervantes: The crowd’s going crazy here on the home stretch! It can’t be stated enough, and Stephanie is enjoying a VERY warm reception here from her home borough crowd. Andrea’s popularity is on full display tonight as well, as you can hear both of these women having fanfare rained down on them by these fans! These two are circling each other now, and it’s understandable why. They need to make calculated moves; neither of them can afford to make a mistake at this juncture! Stephanie swings for a shoot kick at the leg of Andrea, but she hops backward and jumps out of striking range. VALENTINE SWINGS FOR A ROUNDHOUSE! Matsuda dodges it altogether and then wags a finger at Andrea as if to say “I ain’t going out like that.” Andrea runs right at Cloud, but she’s flipped up and over with a Japanese arm drag! Valentine rolls up to her feet as quickly as she can but Stephanie is all over her in a hurry! She slaps on a standing sleeper hold! Shades of her earlier match against April Song, but Andrea absolutely refuses to go down! She reaches up behind her and grabs a handful of hair, RIPPING Cloud off of her with a hair-pull snapmare! Stephanie rolls through and gets up to her feet before she’s hastily put back down by a dropkick from Valentine!

SG1: The rookie is showing all the fire we expected here in these early goings as Stephanie shoots back up to her feet! Andrea charges, looking for a running double-knee facebreaker! NO DICE! Stephanie catches her and heaves her up into a powerbomb lift! She’s trying to fight back with shots thrown at the top of Matsuda’s head, and Stephanie can’t quite finish executing the move! Andrea hops down and grabs the back of Stephanie’s head on the way down…SITOUT FACEBUSTER COUNTER! MATSUDA EATS CANVAS! Valentine rolls her over and goes for a frantic cover!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEEE!

Gia Cervantes: We’re nowhere CLOSE to done, I can tell everyone that right now! Andrea backs off and slips out of the ring, going to stand on the apron. She watches intently as Stephanie rises to her feet. Andrea grabs onto the top rope and propels herself back into the ring…SPRINGBOARD HURRICANRANA TO MATSUDA!

SG1: IXNAY ON THAT! STEPHANIE USES ANDREA’S OWN MOMENTUM AGAINST HER, SWINGING HER INTO A SITOUT POWERBOMB COUNTER! THE SECOND TIME AROUND, CLOUD GOT TO NAIL THAT POWERBOMB! SHE’S GOT ANDREA IN A RANA PIN AND JESSE DROPS BACK DOWN TO COUNT!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Gia Cervantes: Andrea gets planted into the canvas back-first, but she lives to fight another day! Cloud gets up to her feet and nods to herself. She knew what she was in for! She’s faced this girl before and she knows Andrea is as tough as they come! She might’ve met her match in the resilience department. Stephanie pulls Andrea to her feet and whips her into the ropes. Matsuda leaps up for the dropkick, but Valentine never rebounded! The Floridian wisely loops her arms around the top rope and stays put! Unfazed, Stephanie sprints toward her…LOOK OUT BELOW! Valentine yanks that top rope down and Matsuda goes tumbling down to the floor outside! A sickening thud emanates from that impact! Valentine stares down intently before looking behind her at the ropes on the opposite side of the ring.

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOO!

SG1: With Stephanie down on the outside, Jesse’s obligated to count. In the meantime, I think we all know what she’s thinking! Valentine sprints toward the opposite ropes and rebounds off, picking up a great deal of speed as she slips between the top and middle ropes! SUICIDE DIVE, COMIN’ IN HOT!

Jesse Carlton: THREEEEEEE! FOUUUUUUUUUUR!

Gia Cervantes: SURPRISE SUPERKICK! GOOD GODDAMN! A SUPERKICK FROM MATSUDA DROPS VALENTINE IN MID-AIR, AND SHE CRASHES AND BURNS ON THE OUTSIDE IN THE WORST POSSIBLE WAY! SHE’S CRUMPLED UP LIKE AN ACCORDION!

Jesse Carlton: FIIIIIIIIIIIVE! SIIIIIIIIIIIIX!

SG1: AND IT’S ABOUT TO GET A LOT WORSE FOR HER, I’M GUESSING! VALENTINE’S NOT ABLE TO PROVIDE MUCH RESISTANCE AS CLOUD PULLS HER UP TO HER FEET AND HOOKS UP HER ARMS! OHHHHHHHHH MY! A RELEASE DRAGON SUPLEX ONTO THIS HARD, UNFORGIVING FLOOR! YOU CAN ALMOST HEAR THIS CROWD COLLECTIVELY WINCING! THEY KNOW THAT HURT *BAD*!

Jesse Carlton: SEVENNNNNNNNN! EIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!

Gia Cervantes: It’s not up for debate right now — Stephanie has this match by the reigns and she’s got Andrea right where she wants her! She stoops to pick up the Floridian and heaves her up onto the ring apron, rolling her under the bottom rope.

Jesse Carlton: NIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!

SG1: Cloud herself follows suit and enters the ring, using up as much of the count as possible before breaking it. Andrea took things to the outside and that decision could come back to bite her! Stephanie is so adept in situations like these, where things kind of start to break down and get more physical. Matsuda looks to capitalize on her handiwork and she drops down into the cover!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOO!

Gia Cervantes: Valentine throws that shoulder up! This girl’s already absorbed her lion’s share of punishment, but I don’t think she’s got any plans to call it quits anytime soon! Stephanie is understandably the first of the two to get back to her feet, and she leans down to pull Andrea up and hoist her onto her shoulders. I don’t know what Stephanie is trying to do, but I can already tell you Andrea doesn’t want any part of it! I’m curious as to — SATELLITE DDT! ANDREA SWINGS HER BODY AROUND HAS THE WHEREWITHAL TO GET HERSELF OUT OF WHAT COULD’VE BEEN AN EVEN WORSE PREDICAMENT! Only bad part is, she’s still reeling from that suplex on the outside and she had to expend energy to kick out of that last cover, so she can’t immediately take advantage of having just spiked Stephanie on her head! She rises to her feet and a woozy Stephanie tries to do the same! ANDREA IS TRYING TO HOOK MATSUDA UP FOR A SNAPMARE DRIVER! NO! SHE SHOVES VALENTINE OFF INTO THE ROPES AND RUNS RIGHT UP TO SLAP A REAR WAISTLOCK ON HER! A RING-SHAKING RELEASE GERMAN DRILLS ANDREA AGAIN! THE FORCE AND MOMENTUM CAUSES HER TO ROLL THROUGH INTO A KNEELING POSITION, AND HERE COMES CLOUD! *ANOTHER* SUPERKICK CATCHES THE DOWNED ANDREA RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF HER FACE! GOOD LORD! VALENTINE IS LAID OUT AND MATSUDA HOOKS THE LEG!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOO!

SG1: This girl doesn’t have an ounce of quit in her! The veteran is forcing Andrea up onto a knee now, AND I THINK CLOUD IS LOOKING TO MAKE A SPECIAL DELIVERY! SHE’S TRYING TO SET UP FOR THAT PACKAGE PILEDRIVER, BUT ANDREA IS FIGHTING IT! SHE COUNTERS WITH A BACK BODY DROP AND CREATES SOME MUCH-NEEDED SPACE BETWEEN HERSELF AND CLOUD! Stephanie comes crashing down on her tailbone and shoots up to a knee with one hand on the small of her back. HERE COMES ANDREA! A WILDLY-EFFECTIVE VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE PLANTS MATSUDA! THAT HANDSTAND MODIFIED HEADSCISSORS DRIVER COULD BE LIGHTS OUT FOR STEPHANIE! SHE DRAGS HERSELF INTO THE COVER!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOO!

Gia Cervantes: NO! Andrea managed to turn her fortunes on a dime, but her work here isn’t quite done! She rakes her fingers through her hair, looking like she’s pondering what to do next. She stands over Cloud now…OH! A punch to the gut from Matsuda cuts Andrea down to size! Stephanie turns her attention toward the ropes, stepping out onto the apron briefly before springboarding back in! FINAL HEAVEN, ON THE MONEY! THAT SPRINGBOARD FOREARM COMPLETELY LEVELS ANDREA, AND HERE COMES ANOTHER PIN ATTEMPT FROM CLOUD!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOO!

SG1: Another kickout from Valentine! Cloud stands and stoops to pick up Andrea, slinging the Orlando native over her shoulder and running into the corner! OUCH! A vicious battering ram has Andrea in a world of hurt! She’s quick to backpedal now, and she bursts forward with a full head of steam! ANDREA HAD IT SCOUTED! SHE JUMPS UP AND SITS ON THE TOP TURNBUCKLE BEFORE SLIPPING ONTO CLOUD’S BACK! A QUICK AND FLUID SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB SLAMS THE BACK OF MATSUDA’S HEAD INTO THE CANVAS! ANDREA’S GOT STEPHANIE STACKED UP!

Jesse Carlton: ONEEEEEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOOOOOO! THREEEEEEEEEE–

Crowd: AN-DRE-A!

Crowd: LET’S GO CLOUD!

Gia Cervantes: Choose your side and cheer your heart out accordingly! These fans are screaming at the top of their lungs and wondering when the conclusion of this hard-fought match will come! These two women have been put through the wringer tonight! A battle-weary Andrea  stands up at last, looking on as Cloud tries to do the same. She takes a deep breath as she climbs up to the top turnbuckle, and this crowd is anxiously awaiting her next move! CLOUD IS STEADY, AND SHE LEAPS! DIVING SEATED SOMERSAULT SENTON! THIS! IS! IT!

SG1: NO IT’S NOT! NO V-DAY! CLOUD WON’T FALL! SHE CATCHES ANDREA AND DRIVES HER INTO THE CORNER WITH A DEVASTATING BUCKLE BOMB! VALENTINE IS CRUMBLED IN THE CORNER IN A HEAP! MY GOD! THIS CROWD CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT THEY JUST SAW, AND NEITHER CAN I! HAS ANYONE EVER STOPPED THE V-DAY AT ALL, LET ALONE LIKE THAT?

Gia Cervantes: Andrea is trying with everything she’s got to bring herself back up to a vertical base! Cloud charges into the corner but is turned away by a back elbow from Valentine! For all intents and purposes, she could be on autopilot right now! She runs forward and tries to leapfrog over Cloud…MATSUDA CATCHES THE LEG! SINGLE-LEG TAKEDOWN TO THE AIRBORNE ANDREA SLAMS THE FLORIDIAN DOWN ON HER FACE! CLOUD HANGS ONTO THAT LEG AND USES THAT TO ENSNARE VALENTINE–

SG1: BLASIAN SUNRISE! OHHHHHHH ANDREA IS IN TROUBLE! THIS ARM-TRAP SINGLE-LEG BOSTON CRAB HAS FORCED OTHER WOMEN TO SUBMIT! THIS MOVE ENDED CAILIN DILLON’S CAREER! A SIMPLE MISTAKE ON ANDREA’S PART HAS LANDED HER TRAPPED IN ONE OF THE MOST FEARED SUBMISSION MOVES ON EMPIRE! SHE’S TRYING EVERYTHING SHE CAN TO BREAK FREE, AND HER STRUGGLING ONLY MAKES CLOUD WRENCH THE HOLD! HOW MUCH LONGER CAN ANDREA GO ON LIKE THIS? IT CAN’T BE LONG BEFORE —

Gia Cervantes: VALENTINE TAPS! THAT’S IT! POOR GIRL COULDN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

(DING! DING! DING)

(The roof is damn near blown off the Barclays Center as the instrumental version of “Kill Jill” hits and Stephanie flops back into a seated position. She sits there for a second with her hands covering her mouth. After a moment, she rises to her feet and has her hand raised by the official, prompting the pop of the crowd to grow even louder.)

Jasmine Peyton: HEEEEEEEEERE IS THE WINNER OF THE 2018 ICONIC CUP…STEPHANIEEEEEEEEEEE MATSUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDDDDDDDAAAAAAA!

SG1: After so many close calls, Stephanie Matsuda has finally done it! She’s made no bones about how some of her setbacks have weighed on her! She defied odds and made history when she became Specialists Champion in the first-ever all women’s Grand Rampage match, but she’s been fighting to return to that place in the sun ever since!

Gia Cervantes: She laid it all out there; four failed title shots in the span of a year pushed her closer to the edge than she’d ever been. Now she stands here with a guaranteed championship match on HER terms, and with any luck, it’s been worth the wait for her!

SG1: Looks like we’ve got company, too! Stephanie’s loved ones and stablemates are descending the ramp now — Carlos Rosso, Keelan, The Wild Boys, Serenity Hunter, Lauryn Hunter, and of course, her girlfriend Monica Vaughan who’s fighting back tears right now!

(The Wild Boys retrieve The Iconic Cup from its perch and happily bring it over to Stephanie. Everyone else enters the ring, embracing and congratulating Stephanie. Billy and Jimmy set the Cup in front of her and she drops to her knees, overcome with emotion as she places a hand on the side of it and blows a kiss skyward.)

Gia Cervantes: We all know who that was for! Cloud and Brody fought and loved like family, and considering Stephanie is very much in love with a member of the late great Miss Sparks’ blood family, you have to believe this is incredibly special for her.

SG1: It’s easy to critique a lot of the “decisions” Stephanie Matsuda makes nowadays, but this? It was completely deserved. She busted her ass, she fought through a murderer’s row, and now she can comfortably rest on Cloud 9 while we await her cash-in with baited breath. This is SG1 signing off for myself and the beautiful Gia Cervantes! Thank you for joining us all tonight! Goodbye and good night from Brooklyn!

(Carlos and Keelan hoist Stephanie up onto their shoulders in the center of the ring, and the ovation of the crowd grows louder than ever before as the shot fades to black.)

(EAW logo buzzes)

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